LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A local mother is on a mission. Her teenage son, Tyler Dobbins, was teaching in China when tragedy struck. A bacterial infection entered his blood stream, killing him within hours. Now, all she wants is to get his body home but, she's being told it will cost $20,000.
WINK News has been following her emotional fight to give her son a final farewell.
Senator Nelson's office is getting involved with the fight. Tylar's friend, Kody Yates, who saw him die said he's not leaving the country without bringing Tylar's body home.
"It's my main priority right now. I told his mother I'm going to do wahtever I have to do to make it happen," Yates said, speaking from his apartment in China.
He's been working 24 hours a day negotiating with Chinese authorities to give Tylar's family and friends closure.
"Everybody's trying to work together, thinking of different ways to bring him home," Yates said.
He's trying to figure out why Tylar's family was told they have to pay $20,000 to send his body back to the States.
"They said the price tag and said they would not even send the paperwork until they were paid," Dobbins's mother Paula Kemp said.
Kody's family who has traveled in China before said it's a scam.
"They know they've got a young American, and they think the people will just do whatever it takes," they continued.
Both families are communicating through Yates to get around the companies and working with the consolate in Hong Kong to find answers.
Tylar's body will stay in the morgue for up to three months if his family can't pay the money. what happens after that, they don't know. His friends and family are holding fundraisers here, and in China, to raise as much as they can.
Tyler was one of Yates' best friends. They've been over there together for almost a year. He's not about to come back home until he knows he's on his way.
WINK News contacted Senator Bill Nelson's office, which plans to work with the State Dept. and U.S. Embassy in China to expediate the shipping of the body.
If you'd like to donate any money, you can do so in his name at any Well's Fargo bank or search our website for a list of upcoming fundraisers.