Mother Says Kidnapper Cared, Cooked For Son In Alabama Bunker - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mother Says Kidnapper Cared, Cooked For Son In Alabama Bunker

(Reuters) - The mother of the Alabama boy who was kidnapped from his school bus and held in an underground bunker for six days said on Wednesday she had not been allowed to speak with him during his captivity and worried that he would think she had abandoned him.

Jennifer Kirkland said in an interview on "The Dr. Phil Show" that she had found some comfort in knowing that her son Ethan's abductor had cooked him chicken meals and asked law enforcement to fetch a red toy car he said the boy missed.

"I think he took care of Ethan to the best of his capabilities," Kirkland said during the taped interview that aired on Wednesday.

Kirkland said her son's disabilities may have touched a soft spot with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, who authorities said gunned down Ethan's school bus driver on January 29 before fleeing with the kindergarten student to a homemade bunker near Midland City in southeast Alabama.

Ethan Gilman, who turned 6 two days after his February 4 rescue, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and Asperger's syndrome, his mother said.

Dykes was shot and killed by law enforcement agents during the rescue.

"I was told in the beginning that (Dykes was) sympathetic to children with disabilities," Kirkland said.

The talk show aired video of Ethan and his mother, during which the blond-haired child presented host Phil McGraw with a picture from a Power Rangers coloring book.

When talk turned to the boy riding the bus to school, Ethan whispered to his mother, "My bus driver is dead."

Kirkland said Ethan had a special bond with slain bus driver Charles Poland. Before he was killed, Poland had refused to let the gunman take any of the children off the bus.

Poland, 66, always had Ethan sit directly behind the driver's seat so he could keep an eye on the boy, Kirkland said.

"The reason I think Ethan was taken off the bus is because when he saw Mr. Poland shot, Ethan passed out" and Dykes picked him up, Kirkland said. "I think in his own way, (Dykes) was trying to care for him."

Kirkland said that as the standoff with Dykes dragged on, she began to doubt that she would ever get her son back. But, she said, she forgave Dykes and asked authorities to try to avoid hurting him.

"I could not be angry through this because my job through this was to be the mother, the concerned mother that I needed to be," she said. "With hatred in me, I could never have made it through it."

Kirkland said Ethan has had trouble sleeping and has shown sensitivity to loud noises. She worries about how he will cope long-term but said she takes pride in how he handled his time in the bunker.

"I was very proud and still am that Ethan complied, he did his best and he stayed alive," she said.

By Colleen Jenkins (Editing by Barbara Goldberg)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Westbound I-90 at Ellensburg back open after 16 vehicle crash

    PHOTOS: Westbound I-90 at Ellensburg back open after 16 vehicle crash

    Saturday, February 17 2018 5:23 PM EST2018-02-17 22:23:29 GMT

    CLE ELUM, Wash. - UPDATE: Washington State Department of Transportation says I-90 at Ellensburg is back open following a major crash Saturday morning. Westbound lanes were closed for several hours Saturday. Washington State Patrol urges drivers to use caution as conditions can change quickly.

    >>

    CLE ELUM, Wash. - UPDATE: Washington State Department of Transportation says I-90 at Ellensburg is back open following a major crash Saturday morning. Westbound lanes were closed for several hours Saturday. Washington State Patrol urges drivers to use caution as conditions can change quickly.

    >>
  • Family left high and dry after Trader Tots consignment store's surprise closure

    Family left high and dry after Trader Tots consignment store's surprise closure

    Saturday, February 17 2018 1:17 AM EST2018-02-17 06:17:14 GMT

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Billie Swanson has her hands full. Taking care of two boys could be a full-time job. “Kids grow in and out of stuff so quickly and it's a nice place to go and to have that option and some extra money in our pockets,” Swanson said. Swanson is taking about Trader Tots Consignment Store in Post Falls. It’s a place she’s gone to in the past to sell her kids old clothes and buy new ones. That is, until recently. “They 

    >>

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Billie Swanson has her hands full. Taking care of two boys could be a full-time job. “Kids grow in and out of stuff so quickly and it's a nice place to go and to have that option and some extra money in our pockets,” Swanson said. Swanson is taking about Trader Tots Consignment Store in Post Falls. It’s a place she’s gone to in the past to sell her kids old clothes and buy new ones. That is, until recently. “They 

    >>
  • North Idaho man tries to make off with 40 ft long poles

    North Idaho man tries to make off with 40 ft long poles

    Saturday, February 17 2018 12:11 AM EST2018-02-17 05:11:05 GMT
    Kootenai County Sheriff's OfficeKootenai County Sheriff's Office

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho. - The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office arrested 47-year-old Brett K. Anderson of Post Falls, ID Thursday after he was reported to have been hitting on-coming cars with a large poles sticking out of his own vehicle in the area of N. Meyer Rd. and Hayden Ave. When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered Anderson had stolen stole several 30-40’ long pieces of irrigation pipe from a nearby farm field and was 

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho. - The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office arrested 47-year-old Brett K. Anderson of Post Falls, ID Thursday after he was reported to have been hitting on-coming cars with a large poles sticking out of his own vehicle in the area of N. Meyer Rd. and Hayden Ave. When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered Anderson had stolen stole several 30-40’ long pieces of irrigation pipe from a nearby farm field and was 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • In Switzerland, boiling a lobster could soon land you in hot water

    In Switzerland, boiling a lobster could soon land you in hot water

    Saturday, February 17 2018 6:15 PM EST2018-02-17 23:15:12 GMT

    SWITZERLAND - When it comes to cooking fresh lobster, the Swiss are now siding with the seafood.  A law goes into effect March 1 banning  the common cooking method of tossing a live lobster into a pot of boiling water, quickly killing the crustacean.  According to USA Today, the practice is being outlawed because the Swiss say lobsters can sense pain. It's the first national legislation of its kind in the world that calls for a more humane

    >>

    SWITZERLAND - When it comes to cooking fresh lobster, the Swiss are now siding with the seafood.  A law goes into effect March 1 banning  the common cooking method of tossing a live lobster into a pot of boiling water, quickly killing the crustacean.  According to USA Today, the practice is being outlawed because the Swiss say lobsters can sense pain. It's the first national legislation of its kind in the world that calls for a more humane

    >>
  • Skier lost in New York doesn't know how he got to California

    Skier lost in New York doesn't know how he got to California

    Saturday, February 17 2018 5:27 PM EST2018-02-17 22:27:46 GMT
    Sacramento County Sheriff’s DepartmentSacramento County Sheriff’s Department

    WILMINGTON, N.Y. (AP) - Police on Wednesday were trying to piece together how a 49-year-old skier whose disappearance sparked a massive search on a snowy New York mountainside ended up six days later in California, confused and still in ski clothes. Toronto firefighter Constantinos "Danny" Filippidis told investigators he doesn't know what happened after he was reported missing Wednesday, Feb. 7, from Whiteface Mountain during an annual ski trip with colleagues.

    >>

    WILMINGTON, N.Y. (AP) - Police on Wednesday were trying to piece together how a 49-year-old skier whose disappearance sparked a massive search on a snowy New York mountainside ended up six days later in California, confused and still in ski clothes. Toronto firefighter Constantinos "Danny" Filippidis told investigators he doesn't know what happened after he was reported missing Wednesday, Feb. 7, from Whiteface Mountain during an annual ski trip with colleagues.

    >>
  • Conundrum of a fire alarm with gunfire: Flee or lock down?

    Conundrum of a fire alarm with gunfire: Flee or lock down?

    Saturday, February 17 2018 5:06 PM EST2018-02-17 22:06:29 GMT
    AP PhotoAP Photo

    A fire alarm that was sounded during a Florida high school shooting this week added to the chaos of the day.    When a fire alarm goes off, students typically flee the building. During active shooter situations, they hunker down in classrooms.    Both scenarios occurred in Florida, creating a dilemma for students and staff.    Emergency responders say there is no single accepted set of best practices for responding to active shooter situations, and the pr...

    >>

    A fire alarm that was sounded during a Florida high school shooting this week added to the chaos of the day.    When a fire alarm goes off, students typically flee the building. During active shooter situations, they hunker down in classrooms.    Both scenarios occurred in Florida, creating a dilemma for students and staff.    Emergency responders say there is no single accepted set of best practices for responding to active shooter situations, and the pr...

    >>