This story is horrible enough as it is, and hopefully things won't get any worse. In Midland City, Ala. crazed 65-year-old retired truck driver Jimmy Lee Dykes is holding a helpless 5-year-old boy hostage in a self-made underground bunker, and is showing no signs of giving up the child or surrendering to police anytime soon. The entire nightmare began on Tuesday, January 29th, when Jimmy Lee boarded a school bus carrying 21 youngsters and shot and killed the bus driver who was trying to protect them. He then proceeded to snatch one 5-year-old boy off of the bus, and fled with the child to an underground bunker on his property.
That was three days ago, and Midcity Mayor Virgil Skipper said the boy has been "crying for his parents," repeatedly through a 4-inch wide ventilation pipe which leads down into the bunker. The bunker is 4 feet underground and is apparently a small 6-by-8 foot room which is supplied with food, water, various supplies, and a TV. It resembles the type of bunker one would resort to in case of a tornado sweeping across their property.
According to Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson, police officials have been communicating with Jimmy Lee trying to negotiate the boy's release while also trying to make sure he doesn't harm the child in the meantime.
"The three past days have not been easy on anybody. There's no reason to believe the child has been harmed."
According to police chief James Arrington, of the neighboring town of Pinckard, Jimmy Lee told negotiators through the accessible pipe that he's spent extensive amounts of time in the bunker before.
"He will have to give up sooner or later because (authorities) are not leaving. It's pretty small, but he's been known to stay in there eight days."
Midland City Mayor Virgil Skipper visited the young boy's parents and said that they are trying to remain positive and are praying for the safe return of their beloved child.
"They are holding up good. They are praying and asking all of us to pray with them."
Hopefully Jimmy Lee will come to his senses and eventually release the child unharmed. More news to come as this heart-wrenching standoff unfolds.