YUKON, Okla. - A life was taken too soon and now part of the late teenager’s memory has been stolen from his final resting place.
“Almost every day still and it’s been 13 years,” Debra Lawless said.
It’s been 13 years worth of visits for Debra Lawless, but as the anniversary of her son’s death approaches.
“You would have to make an effort to take it off,” Lawless said.
A bronze cross with a rose marking Tylar Kammerzell’s final resting place was found ripped off his tombstone.
Family friend Tammy Martson is by the grieving mother’s side because the tragic accident that took the 17-year-old’s life is still painful to remember.
“I just don’t know who would do this?” Tammy Martson said.
Kammerzell was a student at Yukon High School.
He hopped in a friend’s car one day for lunch.
The two boys were waiting at the intersection of Vandament and Ranchwood when a train came barreling through.
At the time, there were no crossing bars.
Stuck at the light, the car of Kammerzell’s friend was trapped on the tracks.
Kammerzell died instantly.
A cross is still standing strong along the tracks, but its twin on Kammerzell's headstone is nowhere to be found.
“Why someone would ever want to do this?” Martson said. “It’s hard enough for the family.”
The two women are desperate to find the person responsible.
In the meantime, they are left with a hefty bill to replace it.
"Right now it's $781,” Martson said. “That's quite a bit of money."
Lawless says this piece of metal was a symbol of the bond she shared with her son.
“He’s a lot like me,” Lawless said. “He would probably be disgusted by this.”
Lawless says she filed a police report with Yukon Police.