Amber Alert: Kidnapping suspect killed in Idaho wilderness; girl safe
Last Updated: 118 days ago
Authorities announced Saturday that double-murder suspect James DiMaggio has been shot and killed and Hannah Anderson, the teenage girl he is suspected of abducting, is safe.
San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said during an afternoon news conference that DiMaggio had been shot and killed. Gore said that Hannah had been located with DiMaggio and appeared to be well and uninjured. She is being transported to a hospital in Idaho to be checked out.
Earlier Saturday, hundreds of law enforcement personnel descended on a rugged, isolated Idaho forest preserve where a car owned by DiMaggio was found and where he apparently was spotted along with Hannah.
About 250 investigators with an array of agencies -- including the FBI and state and local police from across the country -- were combing a roughly 300-square-mile area in the remote area near Cascade. The teams included "highly trained" personnel, according to Andrea Dearden, a spokeswoman for the Ada County Sheriff's Office in Idaho.
An Idaho bomb squad searched James Lee DiMaggio's blue 2013 Nissan Versa over concerns that he might have booby-trapped it before abandoning it in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area and fleeing on foot with 16-year-old Hannah Anderson of Lakeside, authorities said.
With no explosives found in the vehicle, detectives and crime-scene analysts from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department began processing it for evidence, Dearden said.
As many as 150 FBI agents were in the wilderness area Saturday, the Idaho Statesman newspaper in Boise reported.
On Wednesday, people riding horses in the same general area encountered and chatted with a man and a teenage girl matching the descriptions of DiMaggio, 40, and the missing teen, who appeared unharmed and under no duress.
The fugitive's sedan was found covered in brush with its license plates removed on Friday, not far away from the sighting.
Authorities believe DiMaggio killed the girl's mother, 44-year-old Christina Anderson and 8-year-old brother, Ethan, last weekend at the suspect's back-country home off Old Highway 80 east of Pine valley, then torched the log cabin-style residence.
Firefighters found the victims' remains and the body of their dog in the embers of the house in Boulevard, a mountainous community about 45 miles east of San Diego.
The deceased boy remained unidentified until Friday, when analysis of DNA extracted from bone marrow confirmed that the remains were those of Ethan.
Authorities have determined no suspected motive for the slayings of Anderson, a longtime friend of DiMaggio's, and Ethan, who reportedly thought of the suspect as an uncle, as did his older sister.
Friends of Hannah's, however, have told reporters DiMaggio at times seemed infatuated with the girl, and that she had been feeling increasingly uncomfortable about his attitude toward her.
Officers trying to track down DiMaggio and Hannah were traversing the rough wilderness terrain by air and on foot, according to the Idaho Statesman.
The FBI agents were replacing some local, state and other federal personnel who began the search Friday, the newspaper reported.
Law enforcement officials said they considered DiMaggio highly dangerous and likely armed, potentially with explosives or incendiary devices. Authorities have declined to reveal why investigators believe he might have bomb-making capability and intentions.
Idaho law officers asked anyone with information on the case was asked to call a special tip line: (208) 846-7676.
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