MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say they still have an open line of communication with an Alabama man accused of abducting a 5-year-old boy and holding him hostage in a bunker.
Sheriff Wally Olson said Saturday that Jimmy Lee Dykes has told them that he has blankets and an electric heater in the bunker. Olson says Dykes has allowed authorities to deliver coloring books, medication and toys for the boy.
Olson says he wants to thank Dykes for taking care of the child and called that very important.
Ronda Wilbur has lived beside Jimmy Lee Dykes in Midland City, Alabama for around two years.
Wilbur says since Dykes moved onto the property next to hers, he's repeatedly showed signs of violence, which she's tried to warn people about.
"He beat my dog, Max, so badly that he died days later. He also sliced the back of my other dog's neck. He set up a deer stand at the front of his property. He'd sit with a rifle in his hand and watch me and my grand-daughter. I knew the man was a time bomb," said Wilbur.
Authorities say Dykes shot a school bus driver Tuesday and took the boy to the bunker on his property in rural Midland City.
Neighbors said Dykes was very discreet in building the homemade shelter, often waiting until the early morning hours.
Wilbur said since it happened, she's only been back to her home once, to get her belongings.
"I don't think any of us will ever be the same again. I'm very, very sad for the loss of innocence for the kids and the loss of safety," Wilbur said.
Olson would not say whether Dykes has made any demands. The sheriff says he is limited in the details he can release.
"I hope that there will be healing. I think if anyone can have the healing, it'll be this area and this community. My prayer is that there will be a miracle and that God will soften his heart and he will let the kid go. I hope he will spend the rest of his life locked up," Wilbur said.
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