Five-year-old Ethan, the Alabama Kindergartener who was abducted and is currently being held captive in a tiny, underground bunker for nearly a week, may wind up spending his 6th birthday there.
The youngster was forced in to an underground cell by gunpoint by a 65-year-old man named Jimmy Lee Dykes.
Dykes entered the boy’s bus nearly a week ago and shot his bus driver before taking young Ethan hostage. Dykes forced the little boy in to his underground bunker which is believed to be about six feet by eight feet. Authorities believe the bunker may hold supplies which could last weeks or months.
Authorities are hopeful that Dykes isn’t going to harm the boy, saying that Dykes has allowed Ethan’s medication to be dropped through a ventilation pipe which extends from the end of Dykes driveway to the bunker. Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson has also said that the boy requested a hot wheels car and Cheez-Its cracker snacks. The FBI says that Dykes told them that he has blankets and heater in the bunker so that the boy is not in physical distress.
Sheriff Olson surprised many when he came out in a press conference recently and thanked Dykes for taking such good care of Ethan.
However, one of Ethan’s neighbors said that Ethan has been crying a lot and is extremely homesick. The neighbor also said his mother was extremely worried because Ethan has a mild form of Autism and a comorbid diagnosis of ADHD. Ethan’s mother feels if Ethan gets in to one of his uncontrollable moods, it may put Ethan in to some real danger. Ethan supposedly struggles with the ability to focus and suffers from extreme bursts of hyperactivity without his medication.
Ethan’s birthday is on Wednesday, when he will turn six. His captor has been known to stay in his bunker for up to eight days and since authorities are unsure if the bunker is booby trapped with explosives, they are working on Dykes’ timeline. Authorities say that Dykes has not yet made any solid demands so they are still working through his possible motive but they say that Dykes has a story and concerns, which are important to him.
Neighbors describe Dykes as anti-government, violent and obsessive. Dykes was supposed to show up in court last week for shooting at his neighbors, although nobody was hurt in the altercation. Dykes reportedly threatened neighbors that no matter who stepped foot on his property, even if it was a child, he would kill them. Dykes apparently beat a dog to death after it came to close to his property line.