Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Sandra Yi ReportingNeighbors of the little boy kidnapped and assaulted Thursday hope to bring a little joy back into his life. Many people have been touched by the 5 year old's story of courage and bravery; now his neighbors hope to ease some of his pain.
Amy Conners: "You get sick to your stomach. You don't think anything like that is ever going to happen to anyone you care about or know."
People in his Mapleton neighborhood are still trying to make sense of the brutal kidnapping of the five-year old boy.
Shannon Wolfgramm, Victim's Neighbor: "You hear about things like this all the time, but it's never hit this close to home, in your own neighborhood."
The little boy was kidnapped Thursday on his way home from school. Police say the suspect, 20 year old Robert Kartchner, admitted to taking the victim, binding his hands and feet and cutting him with a knife. A man found the boy hiding in the bushes in Spanish Fork Canyon and called 911.
Amy Conners: "He thought to pray and he got some added strength there, which is pretty amazing."
Shannon Wolfgramm: "I think he's a hero for how brave and courageous he was through all of this."
The boy's neighbors call it a miracle he escaped and survived. They hope to help his healing and ease some of his pain by bringing joy in his life.
Amy Conners: "What we all want to do is shower him with love and let him know that everyone's here and that this is a good time and that we can all pull together."
Neighbors are starting a collection for the little boy. They're working with Toys ‘R’ Us so that anyone can make a donation at any Toys ‘R’ Us store in Utah.
Amy Conners: "We want him to be totally just flooded with happy things, fun things."
Neighbors hope people will donate toys and anything else to let the little boy know he is loved and safe again.
Neighbors say, all things considering, the little boy is doing well at home and still smiling and playing.