An arsonist destroyed more than just a car when they set fire to a 1970 Ford Mustang MkI in Springfield, Mo.
That’s because the Mustang in question belonged to Nino Welcome, a 7-year-old boy who has Lesch-Nyham syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that limits his muscle control. What’s more, it was given to him by his grandfather, who restored the car himself.
Nino’s father, Brett, heard somebody throw a firework inside his the Ford on July 13 around 3:35 a.m. CT, but wasn’t able to put the fire out, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help cover the costs to replace the Mustang.
As of July 17, 4:30 p.m. ET, the GoFundMe page had raised $12,335, well exceeding its $5,000 goal. That likely will help buy Nino a new dream car, though no amount of money could replace his beloved “pumpkin car.”
Nino had forged such a strong bond to the MkI Mustang that he painted his power wheelchair to match the car’s color scheme and nicknamed it “MkII,” according to CarThrottle. Considering the car also was a gift from Nino’s grandfather, you don’t even need to be a sappy car lover to understand what the loss means to him.
The Springfield Police Department still are looking for the arsonist. The Welcome family reportedly is hoping the attention the story has received online will lead to their arrest.
All photos via GoFundMe/Parker Asay