Police say 65-year-old Vietnam veteran Jimmy Lee Dykes stormed a bus full of students last Tuesday afternoon and killed bus driver Charles Albert Poland, Jr. He abducted the little boy, identified only as Ethan, and took him into a bunker on his property that was described as being approximately the size of a large closet.
The boy’s mother had reportedly been “hanging on by a thread” since the kidnapping. She told Midland City State Representative Steve Clouse that her son has Asperger’s Syndrome as well as ADHD.
For days, the kidnapper kept an open line of communication with authorities, who attempted to negotiate with him for the release of the boy.
Fox News reports:
Throughout the ordeal, authorities had been speaking with Dykes though a plastic pipe that went into the shelter. They also sent food, medicine and other items into the bunker, which apparently had running water, heat and cable television but no toilet. It was about 4 feet underground, with about 50 square feet of floor space. The little boy requested Cheez-Its and a red Hot Wheels car, both of which were delivered to the bunker.
By Monday, however, it became evident that the negotiations were going nowhere as Dykes became increasingly agitated. When authorities spotted him carrying a gun, they believed the boy’s life was in imminent danger and stormed the bunker.
Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson has confirmed that Dykes was armed when agents entered the bunker.
While authorities are declining to say just how Dykes died, an official in Midland City, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that police shot him.
Kentucky.com reported that an acquaintance of Dykes, Roger Arnold, stated, “He [Dykes] always said he’d never be taken alive. I knew he’d never come out of there.”
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Photo of members of Patriot Guard honoring slain bus driver Charles Poland Feb. 3 in Ozark, Ala.: AP Images