It's been 36 hours since Jimmy Lee Dykes allegedly kidnapped a 6-year-old boy after killing a school bus driver and abducting the boy from the bus. Authorities report that they have "no reason to believe that the child has been harmed," and negotiations are ongoing with the abductor.
After illegally boarding a stopped school bus, Dykes pulled a gun on the driver and managed to escape with one child and hole up in a homemade bunker.
"The one child he got a hold of actually fainted," Mike Creel, the suspect's neighbor, told WSFA News. "That was the reason he was able to grab him. And now he is hidden in his homemade bomb shelter."
Authorities were able to communicate with Dykes and provide essential medication to the child, as well as crayons and a coloring book he requested, the Associated Press reported. The bunker reportedly has electricity and a TV, which the boy was watching at one point, Rep. Steve Clouse told the AP and the boy's family.
"We will continue to work diligently through the night in an effort to bring closure to this incident as quickly as possible," the Dale County Sheriff's Department said late Tuesday night in a statement.
Dykes was due in court on Wednesday morning for allegedly shooting at his neighbors during an argument. He allegedly has a violent history of hurting animals and threatening his neighbors.
"He said his only regret was he didn't beat him to death all the way," neighbor Ronda Wilbur told the AP. Her 120-pound dog crossed over into Dykes' yard, and he took a pipe and began beating the animal. The dog died from his injuries one week later.
"If a man can kill a dog and beat it with a lead pipe and brag about it, it's nothing until it's going to be people," she said.
"He's 67 years old, so I figured I could catch him," neighbor Creel told the Dothan Eagle. He witnessed Dykes getting off the bus with the child and tried to stop him. "Apparently he didn't go through the field like I thought. He's got a four-foot-wide, about six-foot-long, eight-foot-deep bomb shelter. It's got about three to four feet of sand on top of it. If you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't notice it."
The FBI has taken the lead in the case and will continue to negotiate with Dykes, though right now a motive is unknown.