MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — Authorities have confirmed that the week-long hostage situation in Midland City has ended with the kidnapped boy safe, and with the kidnapper dead.
FBI agents safely recovered the 5-year-old boy known only as Ethan at 3:12 p.m. from the bunker in which he had been held hostage for seven days, after agents determined that Jimmy Lee Sykes was observed holding a gun. Sykes was then killed inside the bunker, apparently by agents.
Authorities said in a brief press conference at 4:30 p.m. that negotiations with Sykes had "deteriorated" over the last 24 hours, and they feared for the boy's safety.
Details are still sketchy, as only the basic facts were announced at the press conference.
We're updating this story as events develop.