MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) - Authorities said today that they still have an open line of communication with an Alabama man accused of abducting a 5-year-old boy and holding him hostage in a bunker, and they thanked the suspect for taking care of the child as the standoff marked its fifth day.
Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said in a briefing with reporters that Jimmy Lee Dykes has told them he has blankets and an electric heater in the bunker. Olson said Dykes has allowed authorities to deliver coloring books, medication and toys for the boy.
"I want to thank him for taking care of our boy," Olson said. "That's very important."
Authorities say Dykes shot a school bus driver Tuesday and took the boy to the bunker on his property in rural Midland City.
Olson would not say whether Dykes has made any demands. Olson added that he is limited in the details he can release.
FBI spokesman Jason Pack said today that officials were working to establish a command center near the bunker.
Negotiators were still trying today to persuade Dykes to surrender. Police have said they believe the Vietnam-era veteran fatally shot a school bus driver Tuesday, and then abducted the boy from the bus and disappeared into the home-made bunker.