Transcript for Ala. Hostage Standoff Over: Kidnapper Dead, Child Safe
-- harrowing standoff that captivated the nation ends in relief. As that kidnapped five year old boy is rescued from the underground bunker where he was held hostage. For seven grueling days late this evening President Obama -- the FBI on the daring raid that safely freed the little boy. With the ABC's GO Benitez to this broadcast for the first time with the latest from -- and Alabama. After a weeklong standoff a happy ending today -- Alabama where the little boy kidnapped from a school bus is now safe. Tonight a new picture of five year old -- I've been to the hospital. Have visited with the -- He is doing fine. He's laughing joking and playing and eating. That things that you would expect to normal five this picture old. Young man to do. The suspect 65 year old Jimmy Lee dykes is dead. ABC news has learned authorities were able to insert a high tech -- brought into the bunker and monitored -- movements. When they became increasingly concerned he might act out they position the swat team near the entrance. And use an explosive charge to get into the bunker and neutralize -- At this point FBI agents bearing the child was an imminent danger. Entered the bunker and rescued the child the terrifying standoff began last Tuesday when -- boarded a school bus and threaten the kids. I love he's happy about threatening to kill us -- -- -- and and he's our all -- -- -- Dikes that allegedly shot and killed the bus driver and kidnapped -- -- -- -- -- -- Yeah record river -- world. School kids on the bus say Ethan like to sit in the front row and that after -- grabbed him he headed to a bunker he built behind his house. Hayes always -- -- aware person and I always felt that that was just the way he is -- was a decorated Vietnam vet who grew up in an area nearby. He moved back two years ago. Neighbors in this tiny rural Alabama town say he wants beat a dog with a lead pipe and had threatened to shoot children who set foot on his property. One neighbor saw the underground shelter dikes have built behind his house. It's Liam where -- red -- -- in it. He's got steps made out of cinder blocks going down to it. Passing us in you know boy using their -- that it's -- -- storm shelter. Five year old Ethan who is believed to have autism. Was held captive in that underground bunker just six feet by eight feet while police and swat teams above ground carefully negotiated through a ventilation pipe. -- aloud what authorities called comfort items to be sent down that -- toys coloring books potato chips and -- medication. Police were careful not to anger -- believed to be watching news reports in the bunker and even thanked him one for all of thank -- for. For taking care of our child. It's very important that you don't agitate the relationship between the negotiator. And the hostage taker so -- the sheriff saying. That he appreciates. Mr. dykes sort of assistance if you well -- -- Was to sort of reinforce look we understand you're trying to help us figure this out. Law enforcement had drones flying over dikes house looking for signs that Ethan was alive and possible ways in to rescue him. Not only has the special needs child been kidnapped. He's also been witness to a murder right in front of his eyes all the while his family and friends and do nothing but wait. The -- -- react is the date date we do tend to have a natural recovery process from trauma but this is there really severe trauma longstanding trauma that's directly affecting him and it and a very scary way. Former FBI negotiators silly BC news that rushing the bunker and a rescue mission was the last resort especially in the case. Where the hostage taker may have planned the crime in advance this may be why police waited seven days before acting. We've got Arnold saying. Do -- delay in order to save time. The more patient approach they take the less likely they -- make mistakes. To moving slowly to get right to communicate properly. And slowly and gently -- this law enforcement sources say authorities had to handle what's slowly in order to keep -- saint. You have to take into consideration if you're gonna go in that room and go after mr. dykes. You have to be extremely careful because any sort of device you might use against him. Could obviously harm Ethan because he's right there Ethan is now at a local hospital for treatment and is said to be physically unharmed. Over the past week this small community pulled together local children even writing cards for -- upcoming sixth birthday she -- how -- France. And I love train him and have prayed at local church -- Jason -- test little flame and fleeing then -- We have -- in -- years. Tonight hugs and thinks that those prayers have been answered. For Nightline I'm GO when he -- in -- -- city Alabama.
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