Celebration Planned for Birthday of Freed Hostage

Photo: ABC News
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MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) - School officials in Alabama say they plan to have a party to celebrate the sixth birthday of the boy who was rescued yesterday after being held hostage for nearly a week in an underground bunker.

The boy's birthday is tomorrow, but officials haven't set a date for the party.

The celebration, probably at the high school football field, will also honor the memory of Charles Poland. He was the school bus driver who was credited as a hero for his efforts to protect the nearly two dozen children who were on the bus when it was boarded last week by a gunman. Authorities say Jimmy Lee Dykes shot and killed the driver and abducted the five-year-old boy.

Dykes then held the child in the bunker until authorities stormed in yesterday, leaving Dykes dead and rescuing the child.

The FBI and other authorities are leaving plenty of questions unanswered about how they made the call to rush in, and what happened inside the hideout during the raid.

The principal of the boy's school says he and his colleagues are eagerly awaiting the boy's return, though he doesn't know when that will be.

For now, family members say he's happy to be back with them, and has been playing with his old toys.