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Child hostage safe, captor dead, ending Alabama standoff

February 04, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • Jimmy Lee Dykes held off authorities for seven days in Alabama.
Jimmy Lee Dykes held off authorities for seven days in Alabama. (Dale County Sheriff's Department )

A 5-year-old boy held hostage for almost a week in an underground bunker in rural Alabama has been released and his captor is dead, officials said Monday.

Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, was dead at the scene, officials announced in a televised statement.

The boy, identified only as Ethan was in good condition and was being treated at a hospital in Dothan, Ala., Clouse said.

Last Tuesday, Dykes, a Navy veteran, stormed a school bus and shot the driver to death, then kidnapped the boy. Dykes held the child prisoner in a 6-foot-by-8-foot underground bunker on his property in Midland City, Ala, about 90 miles from Montgomery.

Killed in the attack was the driver, Charles Poland Jr., who was buried on Sunday after townspeople hailed him as a hero for protecting the more than 20 children on the bus.

Authorities maintained contact with Dykes through a 4-inch PVC pipe through which medicine was sent into the underground shelter, built by Dykes. Ethan was said to have an autism.

Before the news conference,  an ambulance that had been parked near the scene could be seen driving away, according to video from the scene.

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