Authorities evacuated neighbors. Officials closed schools in three nearby districts for the week.
With little movement, police have been reluctant to share much with the media.
Authorities called off a planned news conference late Wednesday night, saying there was nothing new to report. Early Thursday morning, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson gave reporters a similar message, but said officers and volunteers trying to resolve the situation were holding up well.
Late Thursday night, Olson addressed reporters again. And again, the information he provided was limited, even as he repeatedly thanked the gathered media for their efforts and patience.
"Negotiators continue to communicate with the suspect," Olson said, "and there's no reason to believe the child has been harmed."
A reporter asked what the community could do to help.
"Pray," the sheriff said.