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Neighborhood Mourns Loss Of Three Teens

Jun 3, 2002 | WPBF

Three teens from the Cabana Colony neighborhood of Palm Beach Gardens have died in the last six months from apparent drug overdoses.

In January, Mathew Schraeder died of an OxyContin overdose.

This past Thursday, Richard Van Nest overdosed.

Austin Thomas was found dead on Saturday morning. His death is being investigated as a suspected overdose.

The alleged drug dealer, Marc Nolli, 29, was arrested Sunday.

That night, friends and family held a candlelight vigil to say good-bye to the boys. They lined the sidewalk with candles and remembered the three friends with messages of love and sorrow.

"These kids haven't even had the chance to experience life before it's gone," said Ben Thomas, one of the victim's fathers. "There's nothing sadder than that."

They also hope others will learn from this tragedy.

"Well, I thought his best friend's death in January would have taught a lot of the kids not to do it again," said friend Ketsia Flores. "But obviously it didn't. Hopefully this is an eye opener."

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