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.
- James Lee DiMaggio, age 40, with brown hair and 5'9" tall. He weighs approximately 150 pounds.
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.