Already heartbroken by the sudden death of her teenage son in a fiery crash, a Riverside County mother says her sadness has been compounded after a thief stole items from her son's roadside memorial.
Ever since 18-year-old Jarred Taverney was killed in a collision on the Ramona Expressway three weeks ago, Kimberly Yniguez has visited his roadside memorial to mourn. But over the weekend, she arrived to find that the guitars and amplifier placed there as a way for loved ones to write personal, loving notes had been stolen.
"My son is dead, he's not coming back," Yniguez said. "For me to see those guitars missing was just so hurtful. I'm just so angry that somebody would do that - take memories away."
Her son loved his family, his friends and his music, especially the guitar, Yniguez said. That's why the items and messages were so special.
"All of those people that have left things for him said nice things and left notes for him," she said. "It makes me feel good that my boy was so loved and so recognized for all the great things that he did for other people."
Family members say the guitars weren't just left out there carelessly; they were tied to the fence at the site of the memorial.
The irony is that both guitars were broken and have no monetary value, which is why Yniguez is hoping whoever stole them will do the right thing and bring them back.
She said her son's memory will live on in her heart and mind, but she'd like to have those sentimental items to help her cope. She's not looking to catch the culprit; she's just hoping to get the guitars back, no questions asked.
"There are sentimental things that have no monetary value that people take away, and it's hard, it's really hard," a teary-eyed Yniguez said.