CNN is reporting they have been told by law enforcement authorities that the 7 day hostage ordeal near Midland City Alabama has been freed and is unharmed. The suspected kidnapper, 65 year old James Lee Dykes, is reportedly dead.
Details of the final moments in the situation have not yet been released, other than witnesses heard a loud explosion followed by gunfire which ended in the death of the suspect and the release of the little boy.
Dykes, who was a decorated Vietnam-era veteran known to his neighbors as Jimmy, entered a school bus that was turning around near his property and demanded some of the children be released to him. School bus driver, 66 year old Charles Albert Poland Jr., stood in the aisle refused to comply, allowing most the children escape through a rear door, Dykes then gunned down Poland, killing him, grabbed a 5 year old boy, known at this time only as Ethan, and took him to an underground bunker he had built on his property.
The situation became a "hostage standoff", between Dykes and law enforcement that lasted for 7 days.
More information about the release is pending an upcoming news conference, watch for updates.