An internet scammer used pictures of drowned Huddersfield boy Isaac Nash to con money from a woman he met on a dating site.
Gerri Schmidt, who lives in Edmonton, Canada, was sent the pictures by a man claiming to be a soldier living in Ghana - who said that Isaac was his son, called Peter.
Gerri sent money to the man who she knew as David and planned to meet him. He said he would go to Canada with his son.
But she then discovered the pictures he had sent were of the 12-year-old from Huddersfield who was tragically swept out to sea during a family holiday to Anglesey in August 2014. His body has never been found.
She says the man has conned her out of money and desperately wants him caught.
“I wish to inform the parents of Isaac that their precious son Isaac’s pictures have been used to fool me in a very recent scam,” she said.
“I am so very shocked that their son’s photos were used and it makes me sick to my stomach that people in this world are so cruel.”
The scammer had told Gerri his son was called Peter and copied a picture of a cake from the internet with the words Happy Birthday Peter on it which he emailed her. He told her Peter was studying and wanted to become a doctor.
She sent an email to the fictitious Peter saying: “I am so very excited to meet you and David in just a few short weeks. It is so very exciting for me and for you and your dad. We are going to have a good life and I am so happy that it is happening for all of us.”
But she was heartbroken when she discovered she had been scammed.
“I am suffering financially over here in Canada because this scammer did this to me,” she said. “I want with all of my heart to do whatever I can to somehow get this criminal caught, get my money back and have the parents know that this pig of a man has had the audacity to do this and use Isaac’s pictures.”
Isaac's family has reacted with horror.
Howard Lewis, Isaac’s grandfather and founder member of The Isaac Nash Trust which was set up in the wake of the 12-year-old Kirkburton schoolboy’s death, said he was “stunned”.
“It’s despicable,” he said. “It’s very strange, and very sad, what some people will do. I hope this guy can be found and some action can be taken against him.
“What can you do about this sort of thing? It’s dreadful.”