Ethan, the Alabama boy held hostage in Alabama, celebrated his sixth birthday Wednesday.
A beaming six-year-old Ethan said “cheese” for photos and played with toys at his birthday party Wednesday. There were no immediate signs of emotional damage from being taken hostage just days earlier.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the boy, known only as Ethan, was held hostage for nearly a week at a standoff in Alabama. After Jimmy Lee Dykes kidnapped him from a school bus and held him hostage in a booby-trapped underground bunker, Ethan was physically unharmed.
Ethan celebrated his sixth birthday at a local church Wednesday with hugs from his family and friends, even scoring hugs from the SWAT team and FBI agents involved in his rescue.
Ethan’s adult brother Camren Kirkland told ABC News about the text updates the family received as the situation developed:
“We did know when, at times, he was asleep and that was normally around nine o’clock at night.”
Kirkland said the text updates kept the family going through it all, even right up to the rescue:
“That was actually a lot of comfort. I could actually go lay my head down. … [They] said, ‘We have Ethan.’”
The FBI special agent whose call it was to send the team in told said Dykes left behind writings revealing that while in the bunker with Ethan, he’d become agitated. According to Yahoo News, the agent said:
“At the end of the day, the responsibility is mine. I thought the child was going to die.”
Ethan is fine, seems to be doing well in spite of the hostage situation, and celebrated his sixth birthday Wednesday.