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Alabama Hostage, 5, Finally Freed, Kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes Is Dead

Mon, February 4, 2013 6:09pm EDT by 5 Comments
Alabama Hostage Freed Alive Jimmy Lee Dykes Dead
Alt Text: Alabama Hostage Situation Credit: Invision/AP Images, Courtesy photo

In a tragic ending to a horrifying ordeal, the little Alabama boy, Ethan, was freed from the underground bunker where he was being held hostage by Vietnam War veteran Jimmy Lee Dykes. The assailant, however, is dead — read on for more details.

After a six-day standoff, the Midland City, Ala. boy who was taken off of his school bus on Jan. 29 and held captive in an underground shelter has been safely released, but his kidnapper, Jimmy Lee Dykes, is now dead.

The child, 5-year-old Ethan, was spotted emerging from the underground bunker safely and appeared to be OK, officials tell CNN. Ethan was taken to a hospital in nearby Dothan, Alabama state Rep. Steve Clouse tells CNN.

Steve Richardson, FBI FBI Special Agent in Charge at the scene, said that the kidnapper was “observed holding a gun,” according to CNN. The FBI team thought little Ethan was in immediate danger, so they entered the underground bunker at 3:12 Central time to retrieve him.

Special Agent Richardson also added that Jimmy is now dead.

The boy’s mother and grandmother were expected to meet Ethan at Flowers Hospital in Dothan.

Ethan’s will turn 6-years-old this Wednesday, Feb.5.

The School Bus Driver Charles Albert Poland Jr.–Died a Hero, Live a Hero

Charles Albert Poland, Jr., 66, was laid to rest Sunday, Feb.3, in the nearby community of Ozark. More than 500 hundred people celebrated the man who helped protect the children on the bus.

Jane Littlefield who runs Harper’s Joy Assembly of God’s Church in Dothan with her husband Pastor Eddie Littlefield attended the funeral.

Jane tells exclusively, “Chuck was the salt of the earth. He was a hard worker, humble and loved his family. His grandchildren idolized him.”

“His daughter, Lydia Hancock, said, ‘My dad didn’t die a hero. He lived a hero!'”, Jane said.

When Jimmy Lee Dykes demanded that he hand over two children, Charles refused and blocked the access to the bus’ aisle. At least 21 children escaped out of the back emergency door, authorities said.

The gunman then shot Charles four times, before grabbing little Ethan who had fainted.

We send our prayers to Chuck’s family and to little Ethan and his family.


— Christina Stiehl, reporting by Sandra Clark

More  Tragic Kidnapping News:

  1. Alabama Boy, 5, Held Hostage For Four Days, Parents ‘Hanging On’
  2. Gunman Kills School Bus Driver & Holds 5-Year-Old Boy Hostage
  3. Neighbor Arrested For Kidnapping & Murdering Girl, 10, Two Decades Ago