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In a joyous ending to a horrific story, the 5-year-old Alabama boy who was kidnapped and forced to live in captivity in an underground bunker has been freed after a week’s time.
The boy was kidnapped by Vietnam veteran Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, who fatally shot his bus driver before snatching him.
The FBI underwent a raid to rescue the boy, which ended in Dykes’ death, NBCNews reports.
The boy turns 6 on Wednesday and Special Agent in Charge Stephen Richardson said he is reunited with his mother and "laughing, joking, playing, eating," with her.
“He's very brave, he's very lucky. His success story is that he got out and he's doing great,” added Richardson.
He also explained that FBI agents, who were keeping in contact with Dykes, saw the suspect holding a gun. “At this point, FBI agents, fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child,” he said.
ABC News identified the boy as Ethan, saying he was unharmed and at a local Alabama hospital. He’s expected to be released later today.
Richardson also revealed it “got tough to negotiate and communicate" with Dykes, but wouldn’t go into too much detail.