It was his only means of communication...then a thief struck

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LIBERTY CITY, TX (KLTV) - For an autistic East Texas boy, it was his only means of communicating with the outside world, and police say a burglar took it all away from him.

25-year-old Kyle Martin of Gladewater is charged with vehicle burglary. Police say Martin took Casey Duncan's dynavox device.

Duncan types in his words and the machine speaks for him. But with the theft of his dynavox Casey was silenced.

For the eight-year-old his dynavox is his social communication tool.

"He can type words on it," said Angel Duncan, Casey's mom. "It actually speaks for him, so he can type in a word. This has really changed his life and it's really changed all of our lives because Casey has been able to to tell me that he loves me and you know that's huge."

So, when a burglar went on a vehicle burglary rampage through their neighborhood and stole it, Casey and his mom were heart-broken.

"That morning when I realized it was gone, we were devastated, we had no idea what we were going to do," said Angel. "There was no way we could replace it. I mean this is expensive equipment."

The dynavox cost nearly $9,000, money that doesn't come so easily especially in today's economy. But then an unexpected special delivery at Casey's school.

"Within days we got it back," said Angel. "I mean, that was unbelievable. Somebody turned in his dynavox, which is all we really ever wanted back because that's his it was built for him. All I know is someone brought it in and left it at the front office and walked away."

Authorities say someone bought the dynavox, realized what it was and took it to Casey's school. For mom and son it's proof that miracles really do happen.

"It is a miracle," exclaimed Angel. "People don't get there stolen property back, I mean, that just doesn't happen."

"Hi Miss. Shockley," Casey typed a message for me on his dynavox. "My name is Casey Duncan. I am glad to have my dynavox back, so I can talk."

"It's just obvious this is where we're supposed to be," I said. "In good 'ole East Texas."

"In good 'ole East Texas, that's right," exclaimed Angel.

Angel says the question she gets asked the most is, why did she leave Casey's dynavox in the car? It turns out that Angel had made a habit of packing the dynavox in a backpack, and putting it in the car the night before, so she doesn't forget to send it to school with Casey the next day. She doesn't do that anymore.

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