Alabama hostage drama enters 3rd day

The Alabama police reported that contact with the kidnapper has been established. Authorities are negotiating with the man through a vent pipe 2 inches in width, trying to persuade him to release the boy, whom the man has been holding in a makeshift bunker for three days already. Nothing has been reported on the details of the negotiations.

According to Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson, the boy has not been harmed. "I know that the situation has been going on for three days, and there is little news, but please be patient," he added.

Mayor of Midland City Virgil Skipper told The Associated Press, that through the vent pipe one could hear the hostage, 5-year-old Ethan, crying and calling his parents. According to the boy's mother, the child suffers from Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit disorder.

According to neighbors, the suspect, Jimmy Lee Dykes, is a survival expert. It was said that the man has already spent eight days in the bunker before. The underground room has sufficient supplies of food, water and electricity, not to go out for a few weeks.

Meanwhile, local media published the statistics, according to which there were more than 20 attacks on school buses in Alabama in the last few years. The report provides a description of almost all cases in the state since 2009. However, Transport Ministry employees claim that school bus remains a safe type of transport, in spite of what happened in Midland City.

Officials said that it became possible to pass medications to the child, and that the kidnapper allowed the boy to watch television. The information of whether the police has been able to come into contact with the perpetrator is still kept secret.

AP photo 

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