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FBI: Alabama Hostage-Taker Dead, Boy Safe

11:44 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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Midland City, AL -- A 5-year-old Alabama boy was rescued Monday afternoon when FBI agents stormed an underground bunker where a 65-year-old retired trucker had held him hostage since gunning down a school bus driver six days ago.

The kidnapper, Jimmy Lee Dykes, was killed, though the FBI did not say how he died.

FBI agents entered Dykes' homemade bunker in Midland City, AL, at 4:12 p.m. ET after deciding the autistic boy was in imminent danger, FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve Richardson said at a news conference.

"Over the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated and Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun," Richardson said.

The boy, identified so far only as Ethan, was "physically unharmed" and taken to a hospital in nearby Dothan. He reportedly suffers from Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"The child is doing good,'' Sheriff Wally Olson said at a news conference Monday night.

"He's been through a lot,'' Olson said. "He's receiving medical treatment and everything is OK.''

Olson and Richardson declined to give details of the operation that led to the boy's rescue and left Dykes dead. But Olson said law enforcement officers made their move after "it just got really tough to communicate with him (Dykes) and negotiate with him.''

Richardson said the child had been reunited with his mother. "He's very brave. He's very lucky,'' Richardson said.

Monday evening, his uncle, Thomas Mabe, told dozens of well-wishers gather in the town square that although his nephew was not hurt, "he has a long way to go," The Dothan Eagle said.

CBS News reported that Wednesday will be the boy's sixth birthday.

USA Today

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