BREAKING: Hannah Found Safe – DiMaggio Killed By FBI
BREAKING NEWS: Saturday 6:30 P.M.
Authorities say Hannah Anderson, who was allegedly kidnapped by 40 year old James Lee DiMaggio just days ago in southern California, has been found safe in the Idaho mountains near Cascade. Her alleged kidnapper, DiMaggio, was reportedly killed by FBI agents. More Here
SAN DIEGO (AP) - San Diego sheriff: Car of suspect in missing teen case found in Idaho.
The car used by a California man suspected of killing two people and abducting a 16-year-old girl has been found in a remote, mountainous area of Idaho, and a group of horseback riders told police they may have met up with the pair, police said.
Authorities, who earlier said the car driven by avid outdoorsman James Lee DiMaggio, 40, could be rigged with explosives, were on their way to the scene, in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, in Valley County. It was expected to take several hours for full investigative teams to reach the rugged location, about 70 miles northeast of Boise.
"Teams are stationed at multiple access points around the wilderness area to monitor any people coming in or out," a police spokesman said. "At this time, the location of Hannah Anderson, Ethan Anderson and James DiMaggio is not known."
The horseback riders told authorities they met a man and a woman who were camping and fit the description of DiMaggio and Anderson on Wednesday and said the girl appeared to be unharmed. The pair had backpacks, they said.
"As far as we know, it did not appear as though she's being held against her will," San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said. He said crime scene and homicide investigation teams are en route to the scene.
The horseback riders were not aware of the manhunt until they went home and saw the news. That prompted them to go to authorities. The car, whose vehicle identification number has been matched to DiMaggio's, was found covered in brush about six miles from where the horseback riders met the pair, Gore said.
DiMaggio fled with the girl, a family friend with whom he may have been infatuated, in a blue Nissan Versa with California license plates. As tips poured in from up and down the coast, police cautioned that with Amber Alerts issued in five states for the car, DiMaggio may abandon the car and leave it rigged with explosives. Oregon State Police say they have received more than 130 tips after an alert was issued.
“We want to warn members of the public that the vehicle and any place Mr. DiMaggio may have been could be in danger due to booby traps or explosives,” San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.
Investigators believe DiMaggio killed Christina Anderson, 44, of Lakeside, Calif., and possibly her son, Ethan, 8, then kidnapped her daughter Hannah, 16. DiMaggio is suspected of setting fire to his log cabin and detached garage on Sunday night. Anderson’s body and a badly burned child’s body were found there. An autopsy confirmed that the second body was that of a boy about 8 years old, but it has not been identified as Ethan’s.
“It’s possible we may never be able to identify the remains because they were so badly burned,” Giannantonio said.
DiMaggio is believed to have had a crush on Hannah Anderson, and is believed to have taken her on the run, San Diego County Sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser said.
Giannantonio said he believes Hannah is in ‘grave danger.’
In addition to police from several states, eight FBI agents were assigned to the case from a command post at San Diego sheriff's headquarters, as the manhunt has expanded to Washington, Nevada, British Columbia and Mexico's Baja California.
"This is a pretty much an all-hands-on-deck effort," Fraser said. "It's huge."
A friend of Hannah Anderson claimed the girl was "creeped out" by a crush the suspect had on her.
The friend said DiMaggio explained that he didn't want the girls to think he was weird in an effort to defend himself after noticing he and the teen exchanged glances. She said he spoke while driving them home from a high school gymnastics meet a couple months ago.
Hannah asked the girl to join her from then on whenever DiMaggio drove her to events.
"She was a little creeped out by it," the friend said. "She didn't want to be alone with him."
A neighbor also told Fox5SanDiego.com that Hannah was afraid of DiMaggio and did not want to be around him anymore, but 'she didn't know how to tell anyone.'
"She's strong, she will make it through this," the neighbor said. "She’s smart and I pray to God, she’s just playing into whatever he's doing," she said. “I know she’ll get away. I can feel it – she will come home."
Amber Alerts for Hannah and her 8-year-old brother Ethan Anderson were issued in Oregon and Washington state Wednesday after reports of DiMaggio's car spotted in some areas.
The blue Nissan was reportedly seen heading northbound from Alturas, Calif., near the Oregon border, then near the town of Lakeview, Ore., later in the day on Wednesday, police said.
Shortly after Oregon put out the alert, the Washington State Patrol followed suit. But authorities believe that DiMaggio could be headed either north toward Canada or south toward Mexico.
The children's father pleaded with DiMaggio Thursday on 'Fox and Friends' to release his daughter and turn himself in. He told his daughter to run if she has the chance.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has said DiMaggio and Christina Anderson had been in a close, platonic relationship.
Christina Anderson's father, Christopher Saincome, said Wednesday that his daughter visited DiMaggio's home last weekend to say goodbye before he moved to Texas. DiMaggio, who works as a telecommunications technician at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, was a regular presence at the Anderson family apartment in Lakeside, a suburb of 54,000 people.
"He must have had this planned," Saincome said.
Saincome said nothing seemed amiss when he called his daughter at work Friday to let her know she didn't call on his birthday. Anderson, a medical assistant, said she would call back that night but never did.
Investigators had no evidence that the relationship between DiMaggio and the missing girl was more than friendly.
"We're not looking into that directly at this point," Giannantonio said.
DiMaggio's sister, Lora Robinson, told U-T San Diego that the allegations against her brother were "completely out of character." She said he spent four years in the Navy, left the service to care for her after their mother died of cancer, and volunteered rescuing animals.
"He is the kindest person in the world," Robinson said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.