Investigation ongoing after Midland City standoff - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Investigation ongoing after Midland City standoff

Ethan (Source: Facebook) Ethan (Source: Facebook)

The grandmother of 5-year-old Ethan told the Associated Press that he is physically ok after the horrible ordeal of the past week.

There is a lot of relief in Midland City.

Residents said they've been praying non-stop that this hostage standoff would end with the release of 5-year-old Ethan.

One woman said when she heard the news she broke down in tears.

There are signs and ribbons up all over town. One of the signs said, "Welcome home, Ethan. We love you. You're our hero."

"Now that all of this has ended, the community seems like it has come a little bit closer because this has put a burden on the entire community," said Ethan's uncle, Herman Ardis.

"Oh my God. I think I said a million prayers," said Rhonda Ardis. "Yes, God is so good."

There are still a lot of police agencies on the scene in Midland City. The hostage standoff is over, but there is still a lot of work to do. 

Ethan's family member said the family has tried to keep a low profile since the kidnapping and are not staying in the general area right now. She said they didn't watch TV during the standoff. She said now it's time for everyone to move forward from this event.

"We're going to be fine," said Martha Wackle, a family member. "He's got a lot of love and caring people around him. He's going to be fine."

FBI officials released a statement on Tuesday stating bomb technicians with the FBI, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the Dothan Police Department will continue to search the crime scene for explosive hazards.

Two devices were located and disrupted on Tuesday. One device was located inside the bunker.  The other device was located in the plastic pipe Jimmy Lee Dykes told the negotiators to use to communicate with him.

The search for hazards is expected to continue through Wednesday. 

When the bomb technicians finish, Evidence Response Teams will begin to process the scene, which could take several days.

Officials said the preliminary investigation indicated the Dykes engaged in a firefight with the SWAT agents who made entry into the bunker. They said it appears that the subject reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement.

The shooting review team continues to gather facts regarding the incident.

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