Kyle Josef Nolan, 18, died in late August while participating in a ritual that involves the drinking of ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic tea in a jungle in Peru. (photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
The father of a Sebastopol man who died in August while on a hallucinogenic retreat in the Peruvian jungle has raised $8,300 to bring the body back to the United States for an autopsy that the father thinks will prove his son was murdered.
Kyle Josef Nolan, 18, died in late August while participating in a ritual that involves the drinking of ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic tea, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. When Nolan's mother arrived in Peru to find out what happened to her missing son, the retreat's "shaman" told her that Nolan had walked away.
Later, the shaman, Jose Manuel Pineda, told police that he'd buried Nolan's body after he died during the tea ritual, the newspaper reported. Peruvian authorities arrested him and two others on charges of homicide.
Results from a Peruvian autopsy are still forthcoming, but Sean Nolan wants his son's body examined in the United States.
"I believe my son was murdered," he told the newspaper, "because people don't die from ingesting ayahuasca."
Kyle Nolan's mother, Ingeborg Oswald of Sebastopol, reportedly asked her son not to go to Peru to attend the ritual, something for which he had been saving up for quite some time, the newspaper reported. She was prepared to cremate her son's remains in Peru.
"I don't know what a second autopsy will tell us," she said.
Nolan graduated from Analy High School in 2011 and took time off from Santa Rosa College and odd jobs to attend the 10-day retreat in the Peruvian jungle, the newspaper reported.
Others who participated in the same ayahuasca ritual did not die, according to reports.