Alabama Hostage Crisis Enters Second Week
It’s been a week since 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes of Dothan, Alabama fatally shot a school bus driver and kidnapped a 5-year-old boy.
He and the boy continue to communicate with FBI officials through a ventilation pipe in an underground bunker beneath Dykes’ home. Authorities have delivered items to the two via the pipe, including medicine, food and a toy car. The boy is said to suffer from a mild form of autism, but officials say the captor seems to be trying to keep the child calm.
Dykes, a decorated Vietnam veteran, has been described by neighbors as a loner with bitter resentment toward authority figures and the federal government. Some have described him as a survivalist, and this is not the first time he’s made trouble in the community. Dykes is said to have no contact with his family, including an adult daughter he’s lost touch with.
Dykes built the underground bunker as a hurricane shelter, and it is believed to contain a steel shipping container storing tools and supplies.
On this seventh day of the hostage crisis, authorities continue negotiations with Dykes using the aforementioned ventilation pipe to communicate.