Valley victims resonate with Alabama hostage

FRESNO, Calif.

Authorities say they're sending him food and medication through a ventilation tube. Alabama authorities are only releasing a few new details about the incident. They say they are communicating with the suspect and the 5-year-old hostage.

Tonight one Chowchilla bus kidnapping victim says she can understand the trauma the young boy is dealing with. The bus where young Ethan's terrifying ordeal began has been hauled away as evidence.

It is where investigators say a 65-year-old retired truck driver shot and killed a school bus driver, then kidnapped the boy. Investigators say the suspect is held up in an underground bunker with Ethan...

Chowchilla bus kidnap victim Carrejo-Labendeira said, "The harder thing that Ethan has to go through is having probably seen the bus driver shot, shot and killed. That alone is horrible. Ethan has nobody, no family or friends with him. He's alone with a murderer."

Carrejo- Labendeira was just 10-years-old when her school bus was hijacked in Chowchilla.

Carrejo- Labendeira, her sister and 24 other kids were locked away in a trailer for 16 frightening hours.

She's desperately hoping Ethan is rescued and she knows it will take a long time for him to recover from this incident.

"It's going to take the whole community, people who know him when he comes by. Just a smile, a hug or a pat on the back letting him know he's okay and it's not his fault," Carrejo-Labendeiera said.

Several other kids were on the Alabama bus when the incident began early this week, but they escaped.

Psychologist Garry Brederfeld says, "Any child suffering such trauma will need to process the pain."

Brederfeld said, "When you're experiencing trauma where you're horrified or fear for your life, those are things that are hard to get over. You need a lot of support and maybe professional help."

For now the community in Alabama is praying for Ethan's safe rescue. The victim from the chowchilla incident says prayers are also a big part of surviving a kidnapping.

As for the suspect, Jimmy Lee Dykes, he is described by neighbors as a menace. They say he's been known to retreat to his bunker for up to eight days.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.