Officials: Boy safe, abductor dead after standoff

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) -- A law enforcement official says a 5-year-old has been safely released after a weeklong standoff between police and the boy's abductor.

The law enforcement official briefed on the situation said Monday that Jim Dykes, the man who abducted the boy from a school bus after fatally shooting the bus driver, is dead. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the situation.

It was not immediately clear how Dykes died.

Earlier Monday, officials had said they had been sending food and medicine to Dykes and the boy in the bunker.

The boy has Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

ORIGINAL STORY

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama hostage standoff is entering its seventh day and more details are emerging about the suspect at the center of it.

Neighbors and officials are painting a picture of 65-year-old Jim Lee Dykes as an isolated man estranged from his family.

Authorities say Dykes, -- a decorated Vietnam-era veteran known as Jimmy to neighbors -- gunned down a school bus driver and abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property. The driver, 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland Jr., was buried Sunday.

The FBI says authorities continue to have an open line of communication with Dykes. The agency says the little boy requested Cheez-Its and a red Hot Wheels car, both of which were delivered to the bunker. Authorities say they also are delivering medicine and other comfort items, and that Dykes is making the child as comfortable as possible.

In the nearby community of Ozark on Sunday, more than 500 people filed into the Civic Center to pay a final tribute to Poland, who was being hailed as a hero for protecting the other children on the school bus before he was shot Tuesday.


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