"That was the worst thing I can recall, until this," Skipper said.
In a community where neighborly love appears to be the guiding force, the bus driver's death and little boy's kidnapping have both rattled and saddened residents.
"We're devastated this could happen here. We don't know what to think," said Winifred Ramsey, 77, a retired insurance agent who has lived in Midland City since she was 12. "We never thought anything like this would happen. We're just slow-paced and love our neighbors."
Taylor Hodges, the pastor of the Midland City Baptist Church told his congregation on Sunday that, "We're grieving the loss of a way of life here in Midland City. That's what it feels like to a lot of people here."
Despite the trauma, community members had not forgotten their Southern hospitality — and it seemed to be catching.
Across a busy highway from the dirt road leading to Dykes' house, members of a nearby church cooked barbecue for the news media over the weekend.
On Sunday, four FBI agents brought fried chicken.