Thank you all for responding. I did end up contacting the other seller, but have not heard from him yet. Unfortunately, it seems to be as I feared. A couple hours after she sent me the "not able to pay" email, she started bidding on (and winning) at least 10 other items. (sigh) It really disgusts me that someone would lie about a family member being killed to get out of an auction.
Again, thank you all for responding.