MURRIETA, Calif. - A charity that raises money for military families had its funds stolen, and with the holidays around the corner, a Christmas wish might not be fulfilled.
Kenzie Hall has been raising money for "military brats" since she was 11 years old. The 18-year-old never imagined someone might steal that money for themselves, until now.
Somehow, thieves got their hands on checks and money orders for the charity she founded, Brat Pack 11, and cashed some of them.
"It's completely heartbreaking," said Hall, who is now hoping investigators with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service can track down the person who wrote Chuck Lamb over the name of her charity and cashed two mailed money orders worth more than $1,600.
The money was raised during a golf outing organized by Steve Murray, a veteran who lives in Whitehouse, Ohio. It was supposed to be used to help send the family of a wounded soldier on a Disney cruise for Christmas.
Murray told Team 10 his wife mailed the money from the post office where she works in early October. Weeks later, when it hadn't arrived at Hall's home in Murrieta, he filed an inquiry with the post office. Since then, he learned the money orders had been cashed.
One money order was for $1,000, the other for $680. Both were clearly made payable to Brat Pack 11, but when Murray received copies of the money orders, he saw that someone had written the name Chuck Lamb above Brat Pack 11. A signature for Chuck Lamb is on the back of the money orders.
Postal inspectors won't say whether the money orders were cashed in Ohio, California or somewhere in between. A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service confirmed there is an active investigation into the missing money.
Hall referred to Murray as "an amazing man" who took the time and energy to raise money to help someone else. She said she doesn't know why anyone would steal money that's not theirs, and said she's disappointed that a family in need might not get the Christmas surprise they deserve.
For information on Brat Pack 11, or to make a donation, visit http://www.bratpack11.com.