Kidnapped Boy Heard Crying for Parents from Alabama Bunker

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bunkerA four-inch-wide ventilation pipe has become the umbilical cord linking the outside world to a 5-year-old boy who has been held prisoner by a murder suspect in an underground bunker in rural Alabama since Tuesday.

As the standoff enters its fourth day, the gunman, Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, is holding firm against official entreaties to release the child, snatched off of a school bus and taken into the shelter. The boy, whose needed medication is sent into the bunker through the pipe, has been crying for his parents, according to Mayor Virgil Skipper of Midland City, Ala., about 90 miles from Montgomery.

“He’s crying for his parents,” Skipper told reporters at the scene, a rural road in the town of about 2,300. Skipper said he has met with the parents. “They are holding up good. They are praying and asking all of us to pray with them.”

The boy, who has only been identified by the name Ethan, is in the shelter built by Dykes on his land off a dead-end road. Officials have said that Dykes is a Navy veteran and a survivalist who has anti-government views.

The shelter is about eight feet by six feet and is at least four feet below ground. It has electricity, food and a television set that Ethan has been watching, officials have told the growing number of reporters who have kept vigil.

Dykes has been described as a menacing figure by his neighbors. They said he once beat a dog to death for trespassing on his property and has fired shots at residents. Dykes was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday to answer a charge of menacing.

On Tuesday afternoon, however, Dykes is alleged to have boarded a school bus bringing more than 20 children home. According to officials, quoting the children, Dykes fired several times, killing the driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., who tried to block the gunman’s way. The gunman then grabbed Ethan and fled to the bunker.

Officials have not said what, if anything, Dykes has demanded. Even though there are heavily-armed SWAT teams at the scene, there has been no indication that officials were preparing to try a forced rescue from the underground bunker.

James Arrington, police chief of the neighboring town of Pinckard, told the Associated Press that the captor has been sleeping and told negotiators that he has spent long periods in the shelter before.

“He will have to give up sooner or later because [authorities] are not leaving,” Arrington said. “It’s pretty small, but he’s been known to stay in there eight days.”

Officials say the boy, who has a form of autism, is OK and has been receiving his medicine.

“The three past days have not been easy on anybody,” Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson told reporters Thursday night. He said authorities’ primary goal was to get the boy home safely.

“There’s no reason to believe the child has been harmed,” Olson said.

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      • calisbest

        Yeah, then there could have been a full on gun battle between to old guys. Only a few kids would have been shot. You know "collateral damage".

      • krankimom

        Oh sure because we all know that while being held at gunpoint, the driver could have miraculously pulled his own gun out and shot the suspect before he simply pulled the trigger on his own gun. Yup, sure is some clear thinking going on in your paranoid addled brain.

      • Ricky Michael

        People just don't get it. Outlaw all the guns and they (the outlaws) will still get them, it's called the "Black Market." Even in a hundred years they could never remove the guns from the hands of the evil doers. It doesn't work.

        I'm not ready to be helpless.

        • WTE

          No they sure don't. They fail to understand that criminals don't obey laws. Besides their inherent disregard for laws, criminals are protected from many of the requirements imposed upon law-abiding citizens. The U.S. Supreme ruled in the case of Hayes v. U.S. (390 U.S. 85, 1968) that because it would be incriminating, a criminal cannot be required to register a gun or be charged with possession of an unregistered gun. The Court said,

          We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecution either for failure to register a firearm … or for possession of an unregistered firearm.

          • Ricky Michael

            It figures. Hahaha, things just can’t get any more screwed up. Oh wait, yes they can too, Obozo has four more years.

          • Ricky Michael

            Don’t blame you, me either. People who do get to kneel in front of ditches and get holes in the back of their heads.

    • malclave

      Why didn't the police and politicians stop this from happening?

      If Democrats want criminals, and only criminals, to have guns, then they have to prove they can prevent the criminals from doing something like this.

  • faztyu

    my co-worker's sister-in-law makes $77/hour on the internet. She has been laid off for five months but last month her paycheck was $17430 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more

  • wormlake

    just before I saw the draft for $8524, I be certain …that…my mom in-law was like actualy making money in their spare time from there new laptop.. there great aunt has done this 4 less than twenty months and as of now cleard the loans on their house and bourt a great Volkswagen Golf GTI. I went here,

  • KathyS

    So Leys ban all the guns – no citizen has one – only cops – do you anti gun people really believe that will prevent criminals from having guns? How many gangsters did you see at teh gun buy backs that have been happening – ZERO – YOU PEOPLE ARE A SPECIAL KIND OF STUPID., AREN'T YOU.? And yes I stole that line.

    • Sorrrrrry

      exactly. all its going to do is make guns more expensive and therefore fuel the black market. outlawing guns is going to do nothing. Its just like outlawing drugs (not saying they shouldnt be outlawed) but drugs are illegal and are still avaiable everywhere you turn

  • Tot

    I don't understand why the guns were created for? Don't men say that if you are a Real Man you fight face to face with hands only??? What a COWARD society!!! Hipocracy runs in the viens of the people in this World…

  • calisbest

    It's not the guns that we need to focus on, it's the right wing nut cases that think they can overthrow the government with their small arms. You know the Mcveigh types that prep for survival. We should find all their bunkers and cover them with cement, hopefully when they are home.

  • Say what

    Epic fail for law enforcement. He fired on an occupied vehicle. They should have taken him off the street right then and there. Deputies with guns doing not a damned thing. smh.

    • Traderdad37

      Other question is why there was no follow up on killing the neighbor's dog. I'm no lawyer but I think that's probably illegal.

  • Traderdad37

    Does anyone know if the perp used a firearm with a high capacity magazine like the ones that Dianne Frankenfienstein wants to ban? That would have stopped this.

  • Lana

    To know he is crying for his parents has, obviously led me to tears and prayer….how very sad holding a little 5 yr old boy with a health condition….we need to pray that justice WILL BE SERVED!!!!!





  • I'm a Cracker

    people from 'bama aint "hillbillies" you are thinking of beaners', they are inbred, just look at the DNA. You know what DNA is, boy.

  • Made for Thunder

    The glorification of Guns in our movies and TV, that's the problem. Its those who choose to use them instead of finding peaceful ways to communicate their frustrations. The movies have brainwashed many in this country that shooting some on will solve the whole problem. That is the biggest lie!
    Yes, he is a madman but who gave him the idea anyway…TV????

  • Made for Thunder

    We live in a sick society here in America. So over glutted by violence on every channel and too many movies. And yet we are still more blood thirsty. We are totally desensitized and don't know it or don't care. What has happened recently is a horrible symptom of sick and depraved our society has become. The question is: do we participate and condone violence of this kind by supporting the media and movies or do we demand peace as an alternative. The guns have always been here, it's the new mentality that has damaged us all. I say, make the media accountable for what is shown. There is a fine line between information and irresponsibility on the part of TV, media and the motion picture industry.

  • lori

    Praying for this child..I like the idea of the sleeping gas..lets get this over with..poor baby…my heart is breaking for him and his parents.."he's crying for them" OMG..whatever have we come to in this world…:(

  • Concerned

    Amazing the idiots that believe this has anything to do with gun control. Fact is, it has everything to do with a government that is out of control and that is exactly his motive. Police powers are on the level of Nazi Germany and people are fed up with the government. Fact is morons that want gun control and criminals themselves that want to victimize others.

  • denise

    Im getting realy tired of all this bull everyone saying getrid of guns dont get rid of them.lets look at the real problem.theres no respect for human life anymore,dinasores became ecstink from starvation and ice age. other animals are becomeing exstinled from death, and natural habatat being taken,humans are being killed off by humans,kids are dieing for nothing. its not the guns its the people,something needs to change,mabe if family was the way it was wayback, when u sat and talked spent time to gether, new what everyone was doing or were they are,more disaplin in the home,church religion something .i just wish everyone could feel safe an free in this so called country of the ffree

  • kwumey

    WHITES ARE LOSING THEIR MINDS- shooting up schools movie theatres kidnapping kids.. wtf fisrt they are RAPING and Molesting KIDS now murdering em.. wtf ???!!

  • Joe

    this guy is a Navy veteran, glorification of Guns in our movies and TV, had nothing to do with it, he was a highly trained killing machine.

    We really need to do more for our Vets