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January 31st, 2013
07:58 AM ET

Family of boy being held hostage in Alabama 'holding on by a thread'

A hostage situation in Alabama stretching into a third day this morning, with the life of a five year old boy hanging in the balance.

The child is being held in an underground bunker by a man who shot and killed a school bus driver Tuesday before dragging the boy off of the bus.

Alabama state Representative Steve Clouse has been in touch with the boy's family, who he describes as "holding on by a thread" and "hoping for a peaceful resolution to get their little boy back" on Starting Point this morning.

Referring to the situation as related to a "mental health issue," Clouse says that he thinks the man holding the boy hostage, identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, is "relatively new to this particular neighborhood."

Clouse says that the community is in shock by the incident and that the family of the slain bus driver is devastated.

"He started the day off as a school bus driver and he ended as a hero," Clouse says.