shutterstock_15195676The 5-year-old boy held in an underground bunker has been released and his kidnapper is dead.  Initial reports are still streaming in but I’m sure so many of you have a huge sense of relief now knowing that the little “Love Bug” is going to be sleeping safe and sound in his own bed tonight. I can’t even begin to fathom what this rescue mission was like for authorities. They didn’t know what weapons the gunman had, they didn’t know if the bunker was wired with explosives, if the kidnapper would harm the victim. I can’t imagine how stressful this whole situation was for everyone involved.  If I can take a moment to quote the amazingly great Albert Brooks:

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From Fox News: 

A law enforcement source says initial reports indicate that a five-year-old boy who was being held hostage in an underground bunker in Alabama for nearly a week has been released.

Authorities say 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes shot and killed a bus driver last week in Midland City and then abducted the boy.

Dykes is now dead, the source says, but the boy is in stable condition. An ambulance was seen leaving the area of the bunker.

The FBI said in a statement Sunday that authorities were having open lines of communication with Dykes. The little boy requested Cheez-Its and a red Hot Wheels car, both of which were delivered to the bunker, a separate statement said. Authorities had said they also delivered  medicine and other comfort items, and that Dykes was made the child as comfortable as possible.

Cheez-its and a Hot Wheels car! Oh man, how adorable and sad and touching is that? The poor little guy. I am so happy about this news. I can’t imagine the joy and relief his parents must be feeling. Reports are saying that little Ethan has a birthday coming up so he will be home safe in time to be with his family. It has been a tense week where we have all been hoping that this little boy is okay and that he would be released and able to return home. I will update with any new information we receive but in the meantime, please join me in a huge sigh of relief. Little Ethan is safe.

(Photo:  Andy Dean Photography/shutterstock)