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February 8, 2013

Coroner: Alabama hostage-taker shot multiple times

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A man who held a 5-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker for nearly a week before dying in a shootout with the FBI received multiple gunshot wounds, a county coroner said Thursday.

Dale County Coroner Woodrow Hilboldt said he was allowed into the bunker in the southeastern Alabama community of Midland City on Wednesday evening. He pronounced 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes dead at 8:58 p.m.

“He had multiple gunshot wounds,” Hilboldt told The Associated Press. The coroner declined to say how many times Dykes had been shot or where the wounds were on his body. He said the body was taken to a state forensics laboratory in Montgomery for an autopsy.

The body was removed from the bunker Wednesday night, FBI agent Jason Pack said Thursday, hours after the FBI announced that it had found no more explosives on the property besides those that were discovered in a PVC pipe leading into the bunker and inside the bunker itself.

FBI Special Agent Paul Bresson said in an email late Wednesday that the technicians who scoured the 100-acre property in the days after the standoff ended had “completed their work and cleared the crime scene.”

“No additional devices were found,” he added.

Bresson said evidence-review teams are now sifting through the crime scene, a process that could take two to three more days. A shooting-review team from Washington also is reviewing the hostage-taking episode, which began Jan. 29 and ended Monday when Dykes was killed in a gunfight with the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team.

The team, which is the agency’s full-time counterterrorism unit, raided the bunker and rescued the 5-year-old boy, FBI spokesman Jason Pack said.

According to a U.S. official, about a dozen Navy Seabees, who specialize in naval construction, helped authorities build a mock-up of the bunker to plan the FBI assault.

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