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The 5-year-old boy who had been held hostage for a week in an underground bunker in rural Alabama is safe.
The child, who has been identified by his first name, Ethan, had been missing since Jan. 29. This occurred when a gunman identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, boarded a school bus and demanded that the children be turned over to him.
Bus driver Charles Albert Poland died a hero after he refused Dykes’ demand and was fatally shot. All the children but Ethan had escaped, which is how he ended up in a bunker with the Dykes, who is a Navy veteran and retired truck driver.
During the standoff, authorities were able to maintain contact with Dykes and Ethan. Through a pipe, they were able to give coloring books and medication to Ethan, who has Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD.
On Feb. 4, after negotiations had broken down with Dykes, who was “observed holding a gun” through a camera inside the bunker. Believing Ethan was in danger, the FBI entered the bunker at 3:12 p.m. CT and rescued the child.
Shortly thereafter an explosion that may have been a concussion grenade went off, killing the kidnapper.
Ethan, who will turn 6 on Feb. 6, is recovering in a nearby hospital and has been reunited with his mother.