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UPDATED: Amber Alert Issued for 16-year-old Girl, 8-year-old Brother; Suspected Murderer Accused of Abduction

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department believes the same man took the children who is suspected of killing their mother this weekend.

Ethan Anderson, left, and Hannah Anderson, right are sought in an Amber Alert issued August 5, 2013.
Ethan Anderson, left, and Hannah Anderson, right are sought in an Amber Alert issued August 5, 2013.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 10:15 p.m. August 5, but was updated at 10:45 a.m. August 6 to reflect an upgrade in the Amber Alert to statewide, as authorities believe the suspect may be headed to Texas or Canada.

An Amber Alert has been issued for a teenage girl and her little brother after police worry that they may have been taken by the same man suspected of killing their mother, a dog and possibly another child, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Police fear that the girl and boy were taken by a man identified as 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio.

The children are described as follows: 
  • Hannah Anderson, age 16, with blonde hair, blue eyes and 5'7" tall.  She weighs approximately 115 pounds.
  • Ethan Anderson, age 8, with sandy blonde hair, unknown eye color and 4'11" tall.  He weighs about 65 pounds.
The man suspected of taking them is described as:
  • James Lee DiMaggio, age 40, with brown hair and 5'9" tall.  He weighs approximately 150 pounds.
DiMaggio is believed to be driving a blue Nissan Versa sedan, with California plates of 6WCU986.

The alleged kidnapping is said to have stemmed from a fire Sunday night in the unincorporated San Diego community of Boulevard.

"While fire personnel were extinguishing the fires, they discovered a body inside one of the buildings," Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio said in a press release.

That victim has since been identified as the missing children's mother, 44-year-old Christina Anderson of Lakeside.

"It has been determined that Ms. Anderson had been murdered,"  Giannantonio said. 

According to the Lieutenant, when fire crews searched through the building and its rubble, they found "a dog which had been killed" as well as "the remains of a child."  However, "the child's identity and cause and manner of death have not been determined at this time," he said.

DiMaggio is the owner of the residence where the fire happened, and investigators believe that he and Anderson "were in a close platonic relationship" before she was killed and he disappeared. 

"It is believed that one of both of the children have been abducted by DiMaggio, whose whereabouts are also unknown," Giannantonio said.  "An Amber Alert has been activated in the hopes that the children and DiMaggio can be located."

As of the posting of this article, the Amber Alert was set primarily for the San Diego and Imperial counties, though local CHP sectors are on high alert for the vehicle and missing children.

However, on Tuesday morning, the California Highway Patrol upgraded the Amber Alert to statewide status.

"This Amber Alert has been upgraded to a statewide Amber Alert.  The suspect is now believed to be traveling to either Texas or Canada," the alert states.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.


Temekie August 06, 2013 at 02:45 AM
OMG, God be with them.
Brenda August 06, 2013 at 08:39 PM
God, most us do not ask for much,, but right now we need all the help we can get to bring these two children home safe please. They have lost so much already, please guide them through this nightmare and bring a fast justice to the animal who has done this to this family.
Temekie August 06, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Amen.

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