Alabama standoff marks its 6th day, picture of suspect as an isolated man develops

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama standoff and hostage drama is in its sixth day and more details are emerging about the suspect at the center of it.

Neighbors and officials are painting a picture of 65-year-old Jim Lee Dykes as an isolated man estranged from his family.

Authorities say Dykes, -- a decorated Vietnam-era veteran known as Jimmy to neighbors -- gunned down a school bus driver and abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property. The driver, 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland Jr., was buried Sunday.

Dykes, described as a loner who railed against the government, lives up a dirt road outside Midland, a tiny hamlet north of Dothan in the southeastern corner of the state.

The FBI says authorities continue to have an open line of communication with Dykes. The agency says the little boy requested Cheez-Its and a red Hot Wheels car, both of which were delivered to the bunker. Authorities say they also are delivering medicine and other comfort items, and that Dykes is making the child as comfortable as possible.

In the nearby community of Ozark on Sunday, more than 500 people filed into the Civic Center to pay a final tribute to Poland, who was being hailed as a hero for protecting the other children on the school bus before he was shot Tuesday.


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