Durante seis días llenos de angustia, los habitantes de esta pequeña población de Alabama sólo se hacían una pregunta sobre el niño de 5 años tomado como rehén en un búnker subterráneo por un vecino amenazador e impredecible: "¿Ya lo liberaron?"


Después de que agentes del FBI determinaron que las conversaciones con un Jimmy Lee Dykes cada vez más nervioso no iban por buen camino, tomaron por asalto el pequeño refugio el lunes por la tarde y rescataron al alumno de jardín infantil. Las autoridades mataron al captor de 65 años, informó un funcionario a The Associated Press.


Entrevistado el martes, Berlin Enfinger, tío abuelo del niño, dijo en el programa "Good Morning America", de la cadena ABC, que el niño estaba aliviado de regresar a casa. Las autoridades informaron que consideraban que el menor enfrentaba un peligro inmediato cuando decidieron asaltar el búnker.


"Se siente feliz de regresar a casa y se le ve bien", dijo Enfinger.


Casi una semana después de que Dykes fue acusado de matar a tiros a un chofer de autobús escolar el 29 de enero y de llevarse al niño entre los muchos que estaban en el vehículo, las autoridades investigaban a fondo el lugar de los hechos, unos 100 acres en Midland City donde Dykes había construido su búnker.


Un funcionario de Midland City, citando información policial, dijo que las autoridades habían abatido a Dykes a tiros. El funcionario pidió no ser identificado porque no estaba autorizado a hablar en público sobre la investigación del caso, que capturó la atención nacional.


Pero las autoridades federales no ofrecieron ningún detalle sobre cómo pusieron fin al enfrentamiento.


Varios vecinos dijeron que escucharon una explosión y varios disparos, pero el FBI declinó confirmarlo. Las autoridades tampoco explicaron cómo pudieron monitorear a Dykes y al niño en un espacio tan pequeño.


"Tenemos una escena del crimen grande que procesar", dijo Steve Richardson, agente especial de la oficina del FBI en Mobile. "No puedo hablar de las fuentes, técnicas o métodos que usamos. Pero puedo decirles que la parte positiva es que (el niño) está a salvo".


Wally Olson, jefe de la Policía del Condado Dale, dijo que Dykes estaba armado cuando las autoridades entraron al búnker. Agregó que el niño estaba bajo amenaza pero declinó ofrecer más detalles.


"Por eso fue que entramos, para salvar al niño", explicó.


Daryle Hendry, que vive a un cuarto de milla del búnker, dijo que el lunes por la tarde escuchó una explosión, seguida de lo que sonó como un disparo. A Dykes lo habían visto con un arma y las autoridades concluyeron que el niño estaba en un peligro inminente, dijo Richardson a reporteros.


No estaba claro de inmediato cómo determinaron las autoridades que el hombre estaba armado.


La familia del niño se reunió con el menor y fueron llevados a un hospital. Las autoridades han dicho que el niño padece del Síndrome de Asperger y de trastorno hiperactivo de déficit de la atención.


Richardson dijo que vio al niño en el hospital y que estaba riéndose, comiendo y "haciendo las cosas que hace un niño normal de 5 o 6 años".

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  • Police SWAT teams and hostage negotiators are gathered at standoff and hostage scene in Dale County near Ozark, Ala. on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013. Authorities were locked in a standoff Wednesday with a gunman authorities say on Tuesday intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a 6-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home in Alabama. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh) (AP Photo/The Montgomery Advertiser, ) NO SALES

  • Police vehicles are staged near where a gunman has positioned himself below ground with a child hostage, in Midland City, Ala. on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013. Authorities were locked in a standoff Wednesday with a gunman authorities say on Tuesday intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a 6-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home in Alabama. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

  • Heavily armed men move away from the suspects home at the scene of a Dale County hostage scene in Midland City, Ala. on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013. Authorities were locked in a standoff Wednesday with a gunman authorities say on Tuesday intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a 6-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home in Alabama. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh) NO SALES

  • Police SWAT teams and hostage negotiators are gathered at standoff and hostage scene in Dale County near Midland City, Ala. on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013. Authorities were locked in a standoff Wednesday with a gunman authorities say on Tuesday intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a 6-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home in Alabama. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh) (AP Photo/The Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

  • Police SWAT teams and hostage negotiators are gathered at standoff and hostage scene in Dale County near Midland City, Ala. on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013. Authorities were locked in a standoff Wednesday with a gunman authorities say on Tuesday intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a 6-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home in Alabama. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

  • In this Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 photo, media outlets those from around the state of Alabama broadcast while covering the ongoing hostage crisis, in Midland City Ala. Police, SWAT teams and negotiators were at a rural property where a man was believed to be holed up in a homemade bunker Wednesday after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said. (AP Photo/Dothan Eagle, Jay Hare)

  • BUS SHOOTING

    Law enforcement personnel load provisions into a bus during the third day of a hostage crisis involving a 5-year-old boy, in Midland City, Ala, Thursday, Jan 31, 2013. A standoff in rural Alabama went into a second full day Thursday as police surrounded an underground bunker where a retired truck driver was holding a 5-year-old hostage he grabbed off a school bus after shooting the driver dead. The bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, was hailed by locals as a hero who gave his life to protect the 21 students aboard the bus. (AP Photo/The Dothan Eagle, Jay Hare)

  • Law officers stand beside the Alabama State trooper mobile command post at the Dale County hostage scene in Midland City, Ala. on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. A gunman holed up in a bunker with a 6-year-old hostage has kept law officers at bay since the standoff began when he killed a school bus driver and dragged the boy away, authorities said. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

  • Alabama state trooper Kevin Cook, center, speaks to media, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Midland City, Ala. Authorities said they still have an open line of communication with an Alabama man accused of abducting a 5-year-old child and holding him hostage in a bunker since Tuesday, Jan. 29. Sheriff Wally Olson said Saturday that Jimmy Lee Dykes has told them that he has blankets and an electric heater in the bunker. (AP Photo/al.com, Joe Songer) MAGS OUT.

  • Jimmy Lee Dykes

    This photograph released by the Alabama Department of Public Safety shows Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver officials identify as the suspect in a fatal shooting and hostage standoff in Midland City, Ala. (AP Photo/Alabama Department of Public Safety)

  • Members of the FBI team wait, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Midland City, Ala. Authorities said they still have an open line of communication with an Alabama man accused of abducting a 5-year-old child and holding him hostage in a bunker since Tuesday, Jan. 29. Sheriff Wally Olson said Saturday that Jimmy Lee Dykes has told them that he has blankets and an electric heater in the bunker. (AP Photo/al.com, Joe Songer) MAGS OUT.

  • MIDLAND CITY PRAYS

    People pay their respects to Charles Albert "Chuck" Poland, the 66 year old bus driver who gave his life to save the children on his bus, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in Slocumb, Ala. As the police standoff with an Alabama man accused of holding a 5-year-old boy hostage continued Saturday, a nearby community prepared to bury, Poland, the beloved bus driver who was shot to death trying to protect children on his bus when the episode began days earlier (AP Photo/AL.com, Joe Songer) MAGS OUT

  • MIDLAND CITY PRAYS

    Law enforcement personnel wait outside the funeral home as people pay their respects to Charles Albert "Chuck" Poland, the 66 year old bus driver who gave his life to save the children on his bus, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in Slocumb, Ala. As the police standoff with an Alabama man accused of holding a 5-year-old boy hostage continued Saturday, a nearby community prepared to bury, Poland, the beloved bus driver who was shot to death trying to protect children on his bus when the episode began days earlier (AP Photo/AL.com, Joe Songer) MAGS OUT

  • Shool Bus Driver Shot Vigil

  • Shool Bus Driver Shot Vigil

  • MIDLAND CITY HOSTAGE CRISIS

    The funeral procession of slain bus driver Charles "Chuck" Poland makes its way down Highway 231 in Ozark, Ala., Sunday Over 60 motorcycles and dozens of school buses join the funeral procession. The Ozark Civic Center was packed with mourners for the funeral. Burial for Poland is in Newton Alabama. (AP Photo/AL.com, Joe Songer)