TODAY   |  January 31, 2013

Ala. boy hostage’s family ‘holding on by a thread’

Alabama state senator Harri-Anne Smith and Alabama state representative Steve Clouse have been in touch with the family of the five-year-old boy being held hostage in a bunker. They discuss the case, saying the boy has a medical condition and medication has been delivered to him in the bunker.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> steve clouse and state senator hari harri-ann smith have spoken about the hostage. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> we know this little boy is named ethan , about to turn 6 in a few weeks. i know you've been speaking to the family, how are they holding up?

>> right now, savannah, they're holding on by a thread. the whole community, the whole county is coming together. we had five prayer vigils last night around the county. people are hopeful we can bring this to a successful end. at the same time, we had the family of the slain bus driver , whose lives have been devastated. our gratitude needs to go out to him for protecting all these other children. he started the day as a school bus driver and he ended as a hero.

>> senator smith, let me ask you about this medical condition we understand ethan has. i understand there's been some medication that's been given to him. is it the sort of condition that might be even more serious if he doesn't get medical attention soon?

>> listen, his medication is being given. his mother is aware, provided the medication. feels very comfort abable that he's calm and is doing well. has taken comfort in that. so we're very pleased that that's happening.

>> representative clouse, is there any connection between this little boy and the suspect who's holding him? do they know each other at all or do we think this is a stranger abduction?

>> no, i don't think they know each other. i think it's just a random kidnapping here for this man.

>> senator, has there been any kind of communication with ethan himself. i know negotiators are talking some what to the suspect. has there been any communication to the child?

>> representative clouse and myself have been with his mother. by the way, she called ethan "lo "lovebug." that's her nickname for him. she has been given information that she feels comfortable that they've spoken with him and he's doing well.

>> finally, representative clouse, what, if anything, can you tell us about the suspect here?

>> not much. i think he's new to this particular neighborhood. a lot of folks don't really know him and don't really know what his motives are. we're waiting to hear from the authorities what's prompting him.

>> representative steve clouse and senator harri-ann smith. good to have you here. please pass our best to the family.