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.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The trial for Giuseppe Pino LoPorto continues today in Baldwin County. LoPorto, now 80-years-old, faces several sex abuse charges against a child dating back to the early 90s.
FOX10 News has learned William "Eddie" Patrick, captain of Mobile's First police precinct, has been demoted following an internal investigation.
The Mobile Jaycees announce the members of the 2014-15 Azalea Trail Court.
Pastor of Lifeway Community Church Mike McPherson says thieves stole presents that would have been given to needy children.
A man who bought a bicycle three weeks ago finds out it was originally stolen, according to the original owner who reported it missing in October.
If you were in the Foley area Thursday, you may have seen a helicopter, police and K-9 units. That’s because a store in Foley was robbed this morning at gunpoint. Eventually, the search was called off. The suspect is still on the loose.