FORREST CITY, Ark. — A disabled 8-year-old is hoping some bad guys have a change of heart after taking the specialized gear he uses to hunt.
Jayce Collum got out of the hospital on Friday, ready to hunt.
“He’s only 8 years old. He doesn’t understand everything about life, but he understands when they come take your stuff, it’s not right,” said Glenn Shepherd, Jayce’s grandfather.
But he can’t head to the hunting stand his grandpa made especially for him because someone took the gear he needs.
“He’s had a lot happen to him during his short life,” said his mother, Kristen Shepherd.
Jayce isn’t your average 8-year-old — he’s resilient. In 2015 he nearly died in a crash that left him paralyzed due to a spinal injury.
Since then he’s spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital — but none of that slows him down. His family says you can’t hold him back.
Since he loves to hunt his grandfather built him a customized hunting stand equipped with everything he needs to do what he loves.
“He’s not able to sit up by himself so we have to have special equipment to help him to be able to shoot,” Shepherd said.
But on Friday, bad guys crept in and took the very things he needs to be able to shoot. Somebody had pried the door open ransacked it and took all his hunting gear.
“They stole the deadshot and all the things I had to help me hunt,” Jayce said.
The family says the crafty crooks even took a specialized hunting stand that was screwed to the floor.
As the date for the next hunt nears, Jayce just has one request: “I want my stuff back and the people who did it to turn themselves in.”
The family says even if the crooks don’t have a change of heart, they’ll figure out a way to make sure Jayce doesn’t miss out.
They have contacted Arkansas Game and Fish and they are on the lookout for Jayce’s gear. If you know anything though call St. Francis Sheriff’s office.