Alabama police said Monday that they are still in constant contact with 66-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, the man holding five-year-old "Ethan" hostage in an underground bunker in Midland City, Alabama.

UPDATE, 4:55p ET -- RPT: Boy in Alabama Hostage Situation Released, Suspect Dead; Press Conference Coming Soon

Local authorities spent the weekend communicating with Dykes and delivering food and clothes to the boy, setting up a compound close to the bunker to enable them to work 24 hours a day for the boy's release.

Cops even "thanked" Dykes for "taking

care of" the child, citing heat in the cold bunker, the fact that he's receiving comfort food like potato chips, toys, coloring books and medicine.

One heartbreaking facet of the situation lies in the fact that young "Ethan" will turn six years old this week. Ret. Lt. April McDaniel is collecting birthday cards for the boy and says while she's already received about 40, she expects thousands.

Local affiliates report that those wanting to send cards can mail them to the following address:

Napier Field Police Department
c/o Lt. McDaniel
400 Headquarters Street
Napier Field, Alabama 36303

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