Earlier this week, a 3-year-old in need of leg braces to walk straight had them stolen right out of her family's own porch.
“What she had done was she had taken those and cleaned them, washed them and put them out on the front porch to air dry and when she went to retrieve them, they were gone," explained Panama City Police Deputy Chief Robert Colbert.
It's a story that pulls at the heartstrings of everyone who hears it.
A little girl's butterfly-printed orthotics, which she called her flutter flies, are gone without a trace.
"You can't help but become emotionally involved in the case and want to see justice brought to the little girl and have this property returned,” said Colbert.
These were very expensive orthotics that insurance companies will only cover once per year.
"Here's 3-thousand dollars worth of medical apparatus that somebody may have taken and sold for pennies, pennies on the dollar,” said Colbert.
"It's going to effect her development. She's three and has some bad balance and bad foot positioning, and if we hold that at the right spot for her she'll develop at a more normal rate,” said certified orthotist Sunni Solveson.
So when news of this theft hit the airwaves, the company that made the braces for the child, Hanger Prosthetics and Ortho, offered to make a brand new pair for free.
"When we got the phone call we all just immediately as a team said we need to get this girl another set. It wasn't even a question,” Solveson said.
Although the family declined speaking with Newschannel 7 on camera the child’s mother expressed how grateful she was some good came out of this terrible situation.
"They were extremely grateful and appreciative for everything we were able to do for them,” said Solveson.
Hanger Orthotics expects to be able to deliver the new braces to the family within the next week and a half.
If you have any information about the theft of the girl's original braces, please call the Panama City Police Department at 872-3100.
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