Birthday Party Planned For Boy Held Hostage

By: WJHG Staff/The Associated Press
By: WJHG Staff/The Associated Press

The FBI says bomb technicians will continue to sweep the property of a kidnapper left dead after officers raided a bunker to free a 5-year-old hostage in Alabama.

Meanwhile, Dale County Coroner Woodrow Hilboldt said Tuesday that officials had not yet removed the body of 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes from the underground shelter. Hilboldt says he does not yet know how Dykes died because he has not yet examined the body.

Hilboldt says the body will be taken to Montgomery for an autopsy, though he did not know exactly when that may happen.

FBI special agent Jason Pack says teams will collect evidence at the scene in rural Midland City after officers make sure there are no explosives on the 100-acre property.

FBI agents rescued the 5-year-old boy on Monday. They said the situation had deteriorated and feared Ethan was in imminent danger. So they stormed into the underground bunker.

Ethan turns 6 tomorrow. Midland City is planning a big birthday party. A Facebook page has also been created as an online birthday card. Click here if you’d like to wish Ethan a happy birthday.

Ethan's grandmother says he's OK physically, but she fears the ordeal could stay with him the rest of his life.

Betty Jean Ransbottom told The Associated Press that she had never endured anything so horrible while waiting to find out if her grandson was safe.

Ransbottom says the boy seemed fine in the hospital on Tuesday night, but the family isn't sure yet how he is doing mentally.

She says an FBI agent stayed with the family the entire time the boy was being held hostage. Ransbottom says authorities have not given them much information because of the ongoing investigation.

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