Thursday, February 7th, 2013
A young boy named Ethan who survived a harrowing week-long period of capture in Alabama before being freed last week, celebrated his 6th birthday Wednesday, though the celebration is going to be much larger in his hometown of Midland City. More from CNN:
The city had planned a vigil at Napier Field Town Hall Tuesday night, which turned into a celebration. There, children signed an oversized card. “Happy 6th Birthday Ethan,” it said.
More than 1,200 other cards came in from across the nation, said Philip Parker, principal of Midland City Elementary.
The community started an online campaign to raise $7,000 to send the boy and his family to Disney World.
The city is planning a massive birthday party and is trying to find a place large enough to hold it.
While the party won’t be ready by Wednesday, many are leaning toward a high school football stadium.
Such is the joy in this small town of 2,300 knowing that Ethan won’t have to waste his birthday wish hoping to be freed from a dark, underground chamber.
He was freed Monday after being hostage underground for six days.
Seeing her son again, said Ethan’s mother, was “the most beautiful sight.”
Jimmy Lee Dykes, Ethan’s captor, was shot and killed in the FBI raid that freed the boy Monday afternoon.
Image: Birthday cake and candle, via Shutterstock
Friday, December 2nd, 2011
The country music singer Mindy McCready has said in an email to The Associated Press that she will not return her 5-year-old son Zander to Florida despite court orders that she return the boy to his guardian, McCready’s mother. The singer, who is pregnant with twins, alleges that her mother has abused the child since winning custody of him in 2007 while the embattled singer underwent substance abuse rehabilitation and survived an apparent suicide attempt. The AP reported that the court’s current role is to enforce the custody arrangement, not make judgments about the status of that arrangement:
“Once the child is located, we will pick him up and bring him back to Florida,” said Terri Durdaller, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families. “Although these circumstances are unfortunate for a young child, his safety and well-being are our number one priority.”
McCready provided a series of emails to the AP with Lee County Judge James Seals’ ruling to return the boy.
“Mom has violated the court’s custody order and we are simply restoring the child back into our custody,” the judge wrote. “Nothing more. Nothing less. The court makes no judgment about whether Mom will or will not competently care for the child while in her custody. It only wants the child back where the court placed him.”
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
In the wake of a number of recent headlines about missing children, an inspiring story out of New Mexico tells how a neighbor rescued a 6-year-old girl who had been taken by a suspected kidnapper. CNN.com reports:
Antonio Diaz Chacon noticed a commotion when a man grabbed the girl at a mobile home park in southwest Albuquerque.
Chacon saw the man, later identified as Phillip Garcia, cover her mouth and place her in a blue van, according to an Albuquerque police report.
“We heard a man going, ‘Hey, hey, let her go,’” his wife, Martha Diaz, told a 911 dispatcher. “The man came running to us. He said, ‘They stole our little girl.’”
“My husband went after him,” she said.
Chacon chased the van for several miles before Garcia crashed into a light pole and fled on foot, allowing him to rescue the girl and return her home, police said.
Garcia later returned to the van, police said. He fled down the roadway and got stuck on a mesa before being apprehended, police said.
Garcia has been charged with kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence.