MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) - The mother of a 5-year old boy who was held hostage in an underground bunker for a week in Midland City, Ala. thanked law enforcement and the community for their support throughout the ordeal.
FBI agents stormed the bunker and rescued the child Monday. Jimmy Lee Dykes, the 65-year-old armed captor, was killed by law enforcement officials, an official told The Associated Press.
The boy's mother, who wished to remain anonymous said she was happy to wake up with her son again:
"For the first time in almost a week, I woke up this morning to the most beautiful sight ... my sweet boy. I can't describe how incredible it is to hold him again.
Ethan is safe and back in my arms — and I owe it all to some of the most compassionate people on Earth. I will never be able to repay those who helped bring Ethan home — Sheriff Wally Olson and his team, District Attorney of Dale and Geneva counties, Kirke Adams, and his Victims Services officer, Amarylis Benefield; Wiregrass Angel House's Shelly Linderman; all law enforcement agencies including the FBI and its Victims Specialist Helen Smith, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and other divisions of the Alabama Department of Public Safety and Houston County Sheriff's Office; Sanctuary of Praise and its staff; Destiny Church and its staff and congregation; and Pastor Jim Hill of Ridgecrest Baptist Church of Ozark .
And then there are our friends and neighbors who showered us with love and prayers during this week-long ordeal and those who have provided food and other necessities for the many officers who worked tirelessly to bring an end to this situation.
My family and I ask that you respect our privacy and give us a little time -- time to heal, time to put this nightmare behind us, time to move forward."
The grandmother of a 5-year-old held hostage for a week in an underground bunker says the boy is OK physically, but she fears the ordeal could stay with him the rest of his life.
Betty Jean Ransbottom told The Associated Press on Tuesday 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 Monday after his rescue, 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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