Alabama Hostage Update: FBI Used Hidden Cameras Inside Bunker, Child Continues Recovery With Family
By Charles Poladian | February 6, 2013 1:05 PM EST
The six-day Alabama hostage standoff ended with kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes dead, while the child who was taken off his schoolbus, Ethan, was safely removed from the bunker. FBI used hidden cameras to keep track of Dykes inside the bunker, while new reports indicate police discovered a bomb inside it.
Dykes was killed Monday following a six-day standoff with police. Dykes had shot and killed a school bus driver and took a 5-year-old boy, later identified only as Ethan, hostage inside his Alabama bunker. The FBI used hidden cameras to help monitor the situation, reports Reuters.
As police and FBI officers watched and waited anxiously as Dykes holed himself and his captive up, the decision to raid the hideout and rescue the boy was made after negotiations broke down, reports ABC News. Officials were able to place a small hidden camera inside the bunker -- by means not disclosed -- and monitor Dykes as well as the child’s condition.
The rescue mission was given the go-ahead after the hidden camera revealed that Dykes had a gun and looked “agitated.” The boy, turning six this week, was examined at a hospital and released on Tuesday, reports Reuters.
Details are continuing to emerge from the Alabama hostage standoff, including what happened during the final minutes of the rescue effort that left Dykes dead, but the boy is recovering with family. According to Stephen E. Richardson, FBI special agent, “He’s laughing, joking, playing, eating — the things that you would expect a normal 5- to 6-year-old young man to do. He’s very brave. He’s very lucky,” reports The New York Times.
Speaking to “Good Morning America,” Ethan’s family said he was doing well and was playing with some of his favorite toys. The FBI made sure to provide medication to Ethan as the boy suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, notes the Times.
Speaking to “Good Morning America,” Ethan’s aunt, Debra Cook, said, “I was ecstatic. Everything just seemed like it was so much clearer. You know, we had all been walking around in a fog and everyone was just excited. There's no words to put how we felt and how relieved we were.”
The investigation of Dykes continues. Police are still unsure what the motive was for the kidnapping while the Times characterizes him as a survivalist who could have been using the kidnapping to make a larger statement about his beliefs.
Perhaps the most notable revelation so far in the early investigation was the discovery of a bomb inside the bunker. The Times article published on Monday indicated that a bomb squad was sweeping the area for any homemade bombs and CBS News is now reporting that a bomb was found within the bunker.
Dykes was stockpiling the bombs, and bomb technicians from the FBI confirmed what officials had seen via the hidden cameras. Dykes reportedly asked to speak to a reporter, notes CBS News, and was considered an “anti-federal government activist."
CBS News believes that the authorities moved in when Dykes went to retrieve supplies from the bunker's entrance. Throughout the standoff, officials would leave supplies and Ethan’s medicine near the bunker and Dykes would climb a ladder to fetch them. Officials then threw in two stun-grenades which allowed police to enter the bunker and rescue Ethan, reports CBS News.
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