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Jul 16, 2:04 PM EDT

Missouri boy with disability finds prized Mustang torched


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- A 1970 classic Mustang that belonged to a 7-year-old boy with a rare disability has been found torched and destroyed.

The orange-and-black Mach I Ford Mustang was found destroyed early Thursday. Police said an unknown vandal opened a small vent window of the car and tossed in some fireworks, the Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/2vkGQZQ ) reported.

The car was parked in the driveway of Nino Welcome's parents, Brett and Tonia Welcome.

The Mustang had been restored by Nino's grandfather, Fred Welcome, who gave it to the boy on his birthday in May.

Nino's parents said the car was a big part of their son's life.

"It occupies his mind day and night," Brett said.

Nino has Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, a rare condition that is characterized by neurological and behavioral problems and the overproduction of uric acid. He is confined to an orange-and-black wheelchair which he calls Mach II, but considers the car his prized possession.

"When I get home from work he asks me if we need to go to the store. He asks, 'Can we take the Mustang?'" Brett said.

The couple had initially planned to wait to tell Nino about the destroyed car, but the boy began questioning his parents as to why the Mustang was covered by a tarp.

"We told him that sometimes bad people do bad things," Brett said. "And that we are going to put it in the shop and get it back new and improved."

Springfield fire marshal Ben Basham said it'll be difficult to prosecute someone without more information. Fire department spokeswoman Cara Erwin said the fire was intentionally set and the case will be suspended unless there is more information.

"I just want whoever did this caught," Tonia said.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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