Midland City, AL (WVEE) - The survivalist who allegedly shot a school bus driver before taking a five-year-old boy hostage might be ready to let the little boy go.
Jimmy Lee Dykes says that he will release his hostage if a reporter is sent in to tell his story.
Reportedly, Dykes made the extraordinary offer on the first day of what has now turned into a siege situation with the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team on site, emergency services and a host of media focused on the piece of Alabama bluff under which Dykes and the boy, Ethan, are holed up.
In those first crucial hours, Vietnam veteran Dykes attempted to strike up a deal. His bargain, the boy in return for a reporter to tell his story of ‘how the government screwed him.
Authorities were communicating with Dykes through a PVC pipe, but now reports claim hostage negotiators are communicating with Dykes via a ‘throw phone.’
There’s also heavy concern about the condition of the Tornado type bunker, after recent heavy rainfall caused flooding in the area.
According to the sources, the bunker lies beneath what appears to be a landscaped garden.
There is a coi carp pond and a winding path before the ground rises to conceal two old freight containers buried beneath.
The door is believed to be booby trapped.
The FBI had considered sinking a wire into the pipe to give them ‘eyes and ears’ in the bunker where Dykes has access to TV and a monitor linked to a camera via which he can monitor activity in his yard.
Authorites say they decided to X-Ray the site first and discovered it was wired with explosives.
The neighbors think he has pipe bombs in there too.
The standoff is now in day five.