Day Six For Bunker Hostage

Monday, February 4, 2013 - 4:23pm

Negotiations continue as accused murderer holds kindergartner in underground bunker.

A 5-year-old boy being held hostage in an Alabama bunker turns 6 Wednesday, and authorities are hoping he won't celebrate his birthday in captivity.

The standoff with the accused murderer holding the boy hostage enters its second week on Tuesday.

An unmanned surveillance drone flew over the homemade underground bunker near Midland City, Alabama Monday morning where police believe Jimmy Lee Dykes is holding the 5-year-old boy the public knows only as Ethan.

Police say the 65-year-old Dykes has made few demands.

Despite around the clock contact with him, they still have no idea what his motive is.

"Based on our discussions with Mr. Dykes, he feels like he has a story that's important to him," says Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson.

Sheriff Olson wouldn't elaborate on that story, and couldn't speculate on when the standoff might end.

"We're doing everything humanly possible, can do, to resolve this safely and bring this child home," he said.

Last Tuesday Dykes boarded a stopped school bus and demanded two children.

When bus driver Charles Poland refused, police say Dykes shot him to death and took the boy named Ethan hostage.

At Poland's funeral Sunday friends and family remembered a man who died protecting children.

"His actions spoke louder than any words that can ever be said about him," said fellow school bus driver Robbie Batchelor.
Ethan is said to have a mild form of autism, and the sheriff says medicine is among the items sent through the bunker's ventilation pipe to help provide him comfort.

Authorities say Jimmy Lee Dykes is a decorated Vietnam veteran who grew up in southeastern Alabama.

He lived in Florida until two years ago.

When he returned to Alabama, neighbors say he once beat a dog with a lead pipe and had threatened to shoot children who set foot on his property.

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