It's now been six days that a 5-year-old boy has been held hostage in Dale County. Police say Jimmy Lee Dykes is holding the boy captive in an underground bunker.
Meanwhile, the community is mourning the loss of the school bus driver who sacrificed his life the day the boy was taken.
On Sunday a funeral was held for Charles Poland Jr. at the Ozark Civic Center, where hundreds paid tribute to the man they're calling a hero.
Dozens of Patriot Guard Riders formed a line going to the service, joining hundreds of others from the community to remember Charles Poland Jr., known as "Chuck," the school bus driver who was shot and killed when police say Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded the bus and took the 5-year-old boy.
"Well, he's what you would call an unsung hero," Said Shirley Doster, who attended the funeral.
Family members describe him as a simple man, a Christian man who had a love for children.
More than 300 people attended his funeral Sunday afternoon, many of them in tears. Ruthie boykin is a friend of the family who says she's heartbroken from his loss.
"He gave the ultimate, I would say, the ultimate sacrifice for the children and in that instance, I would consider him a hero for the children. He took his job seriously and he paid for it," Said Boykin.
Meanwhile, authorities continue to communicate with Dykes in hope of a peaceful resolution.
Police say they've brought food, medication and toys for the child, but while police tell us Dykes is taking care of the child, the community is still praying for his return.
"I'm hoping that the children will learn from what they see happening. Not only here in our community, but all across the country. Really, all across the world," Said Doster.
Authorities are still actively trying to negotiate with Dykes. They're maintaining an open line of communication 24 hours a day for whenever he wants to talk.
Law enforcement officials say they will update the media tomorrow at 11 a.m. Alabama News network will continue to bring you the latest developments.
Law enforcement officials say they will update the media tomorrow at 11 a.m.
Alabama News network will continue to bring you the latest developments.