Child Hostage to celebrate Birthday safe at home - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Child Hostage to celebrate Birthday safe at home

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By Sara Ganim (WBMA)- A young boy is back with his mother after being held hostage for nearly a week. His captor is dead, but investigators say their work is far from over.

Just shy of his birthday, 5-year old Ethan is back where he belongs, with his family.

Authorities rescued the boy from an underground bunker in Midland City, Alabama where he was held hostage for nearly a week.

He's laughing, joking, playing, eating. Things that you would expect a normal 5 to 6-year-old young man to do.

Negotiations with the boy's abductor, Jimmy Lee Dykes broke down Monday afternoon.

Investigators say Dykes took his young hostage off a school bus last Tuesday, after killing the bus driver. DYkes was believed to be armed inside his bunker.

Fearing for Ethan's safety, authorities stormed the underground retreat.

I heard a big boom, and then I heard, I believe I heard rifle shots.(reporter: And give us a sense, how loud of a boom? I mean, very loud?)

Oh yeah. Literally made me jump off the ground. It scared me that bad. Officials are not releasing many details on the raid but say Dykes was shot and killed.

Ethan was reunited with his family at a local hospital. His uncle says he was kept overnight.

Investigators have many days of work still ahead of them at the crime scene.

But this morning, the entire community is sharing in a collective sense of relief.

A lot of these men and women have sacrificed tireless hours, they're parents as well. You know, it's, it's a relief for us to be able to reunite a mother with her child.

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