CBS’ ‘The FBI Declassified: Saving Ethan’ and ‘FBI True: Boy in the Bunker’ both chronicle the chilling story of how a 5-year-old boy, Ethan Gilman, was abducted and held captive in an underground bunker for six days after a Vietnam War veteran boarded his school bus and fatally shot the driver. This hostage crisis, which lasted for six long days, began on a highway in the Wiregrass Region and ended in Midland City, Alabama, when FBI agents stormed the bunker, killed Ethan’s captor 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, and rescued him. Thankfully, Jimmy had actually taken care of Ethan and had not physically harmed him in any way. Curious to know where Ethan is now? Here’s what we know!
Who Is Ethan Gilman?
Although Ethan Gilman was just five years old when he was suddenly abducted, he’d already lived quite a tough life. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD, with a biological mother who had troubles with substance abuse, he was in the foster care system for roughly a year as an infant before his mother made drastic improvements and re-gained his custody. After being in her care for a little over two years, though, Ethan’s world turned upside down once again.
On January 29, 2013, Ethan was abducted, held against his will, and made to see a kind of violence no one should ever experience. Following his rescue on February 4, 2013, it came to light that even though he was unharmed, he knew that something terrible had happened to him. When he and his mother made an appearance on ‘Dr. Phil’ later on, she admitted that Ethan had trouble sleeping because of his experiences. “He is tossing and turning, slinging his arms around, and he has cried out a few times,” she said.
Fortunately, there were times when Ethan showed no visible signs of his traumatic ordeal. In fact, on his sixth birthday, which doubled as his homecoming celebration, he spent all his time smiling and playing with friends like a regular kid. Just a short while later, though, the Dale County Department of Human Resources had to get involved in his life once again, meaning his living arrangements changed. However, he stayed with family this time around, under the care of his adult brother, Camren Kirkland, for a couple of years.
Where Is Ethan Gilman Now?
Ethan unfortunately had little stability for quite some time, and because Camren couldn’t provide him with everything he needed despite taking great care of him otherwise, he was back in the system. Yet, in November 2015, he was placed with the Turner family, who had already come to know and love the toddler in a year he’d previously spent in the system. The family had assisted in the Foster Care Respite Care Program, which provides temporary relief for foster parents on the weekends, and that’s when they came across Ethan.
When the Turners first got to know Ethan, they genuinely thought of him as their son and even envisioned adopting him one day. Therefore, when the opportunity arose, they, of course, took him in. As soon as the 90-day probation period for the foster parents was up, they legally adopted him and officially made him a part of their family. According to the last reports, Ethan Gilman is now Ethan Turner, residing in Abbeville, Alabama, where he is happy with his new kin. Moreover, his medications have since been reduced, he has settled into school and is thriving, plus he is enjoying being a teen with his nine siblings.
Apparently, most importantly, Ethan is a loving individual who is, in turn, very well-loved. He does remember bits and pieces of what happened to him more than a decade ago, but he is okay and he is content. “I enjoy playing with my brothers and sisters,” he said in one of his last public interviews. “I like to ride my bike. I like to jump on the trampoline and really enjoy playing with Legos and K’nex.”
Read More: Where Is Ethan’s Family Now?