Alabama: After a week of failed negotiations with the kidnapper, FBI agents on Monday stormed a bunker in Alabama in southeastern US where a 5 year old boy was held captive underground, and ended the hostage standoff that culminated with the captor being dead.
The child named Ethan was rescued safely and was “physically unharmed”, whereas the kidnapper, a 65 year old Jimmy Lee Dykes was dead, said FBI officials.
The FBI Special Agent Steve Richardson said that they decided to enter the bunker after the talks “deteriorated” and they learnt that the man was armed with a gun and could harm the child.
"Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun. At this point the FBI agents fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child," Richardson said at a news conference.
At a late Monday news conference, authorities declined to elaborate on how they had observed Dykes or on how he died, citing the pending investigation.
Authorities said the kindergartner appeared unharmed. He was taken to a hospital in nearby Dothan. Officials have said he has Asperger`s syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Throughout the ordeal, authorities had been speaking with Dykes though a plastic pipe that went into the shelter. They also sent food, medicine and other items into the bunker, which apparently had running water, heat and cable television but no toilet. It was about 4 feet underground, with about 50 square feet of floor space.
Neighbours described Dykes as a menacing, unpredictable man who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe. Government records indicate he served in the Navy from 1964 to 1969, earning several awards, including the Vietnam Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
With Agency Inputs