3 Feb 2013

Bunker hostage stand-off continues

2:20 pm on 3 February 2013

A standoff in rural Alabama where a boy is being held as a hostage in a bunker, is now in its fifth day.

Few official updates are being given on the situation. Police in Midland City and the FBI are providing little information.

They are in 'constant communication' with the gunman.

The suspect was officially identified on Friday as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65. He is believed to be responsible for killing bus driver Charles Albert Poland, 66, on Tuesday and then taking one of the passengers hostage as they rode home from school.

Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said Dykes has allowed colouring books, toys and medication to be provided for the boy, who reportedly has autism or Asperger's Syndrome.

Dykes has also given an assurance that there are blankets and electric heaters in the bunker to protect the boy from cold overnight temperatures.

"I want to thank him for taking care of our child. This is very important," Sheriff Olson said on Saturday. He offered no further comment.

According to his neighbours, Dykes moved to Midland City about two years ago and was often seen patrolling his property at night with a gun and a flashlight.

He spent a lot of time building the subterranean bunker near the trailer where he lived.