MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (WPMI) An awful drama in Midland City came to an end Monday.
A 5-year-old boy named Ethan is free after being held hostage for seven days
in an underground bunker with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes.
"Over the past 24 hours our communications with the suspect deteriorated. At that point FBI agents felt the child was in imminent danger, they entered the bunker and rescued the boy. The suspect is deceased," said an FBI agent.
Officials won't say how Dykes was killed. Witnesses say they heard gunshots.
"When we heard that news I was happy because he was a bad man, horrible man," said Terrica Singletary.
Singletary was one of the children on a school bus with Ethan last Tuesday when police say Dykes got on the stopped bus and demanded two kids.
"Then I see Mr. Poland say like please get off the bus and he wouldn't and he saw the kids and said now I just want to pick. He just kept picking children and said like I want you, you, you and you," said Singletary.
When bus driver Charles Poland refused to give in to Dykes commands, police say Dykes shot him to death, and took Ethan hostage.
"We saw Mr. Poland's body and we were shocked, crying and panicked. When he took the boy I tried to run to the highway and I was waving my arms for help," said Singletary.
They'd been in the bunker since, communicating with law enforcement through a ventilation pipe, which was also used to deliver food and medicine for the boy until today when FBI agents rescued the child.
Investigators say the boy is in the hospital but he's laughing, joking, playing and eating.
Ethan turns 6 this week. You can mail him a card at
NFPD c/o Lt. McDaniel
400 Headquarters St.
Napier Field, AL 36303
Be sure to sign with your name, town and state.