Former Alabama Hostage Celebrates 6th Birthday

The city had planned a vigil at Napier Field Town Hall Tuesday night, which turned into a celebration. There, children signed an oversized card. "Happy 6th Birthday Ethan," it said.

More than 1,200 other cards came in from across the nation, said Philip Parker, principal of Midland City Elementary.

The community started an online campaign to raise $7,000 to send the boy and his family to Disney World.

The city is planning a massive birthday party and is trying to find a place large enough to hold it.

While the party won't be ready by Wednesday, many are leaning toward a high school football stadium.

Such is the joy in this small town of 2,300 knowing that Ethan won't have to waste his birthday wish hoping to be freed from a dark, underground chamber.

He was freed Monday after being hostage underground for six days.

Seeing her son again, said Ethan's mother, was "the most beautiful sight."

Jimmy Lee Dykes, Ethan's captor, was shot and killed in the FBI raid that freed the boy Monday afternoon.

Image: Birthday cake and candle, via Shutterstock


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