Manhunt continues in Boulevard murder, kidnapping case - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Manhunt continues in Boulevard murder, kidnapping case

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(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities continued Wednesday to urgently chase leads into the possible whereabouts of a Boulevard man and a teenage girl he is suspected of kidnapping after allegedly murdering her mother, who was found dead in his back-country home last weekend along with the body of an unidentified child.

Early Wednesday afternoon, investigators got word of a possible sighting of 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio's car heading north on Highway 395 in Alturas, near the Oregon border, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. It was unclear how many people were in the sedan.

DiMaggio is believed to be on the run with 16-year-old Hannah Anderson of Lakeside and, possibly, her 8-year-old brother Ethan, according to sheriff's officials. Investigators suspect, however, that the boy may have been one of those killed on DiMaggio's rural property off Old Highway 80 in southeastern San Diego County.

Firefighters discovered the bodies of 44-year-old Christina Anderson, a longtime friend of DiMaggio's, and the child in the rubble of the suspect's burned-out Ross Avenue home shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday. The whereabouts of Ethan and Hannah have been unknown since.

Authorities have received numerous tips about possible sightings of the suspect over the last several days, though none have proved conclusive, the lieutenant said.

The remains of the juvenile victim likely will remain unidentified pending completion of DNA comparisons, a process that could take several days, Giannantonio said.

On Tuesday evening, the father of the missing children addressed the suspect, formerly a good friend of his, through the news media.

"Jim, I can't fathom what you were thinking," Brett Anderson said in front of sheriff's headquarters in Kearny Mesa. "The damage is done. I'm begging you to let my daughter go. You've taken everything else."

He also directed a few urgent comments to his absent daughter.

"Hannah, we all love you very much," he said. "If you have a chance, you take it. You run. You'll be found."

In addition to having been friends to Brett and Christina Anderson for years, DiMaggio was close to their children, according to Giannantonio.

"From what I've heard, (Ethan and Hannah) considered him an uncle," the lieutenant told reporters.

A statewide amber alert was issued Monday evening. Authorities believe DiMaggio may be driving a blue 2013 Nissan Versa sedan, California license plate 6WCU986, and possibly may have headed to either Texas or Canada.

The suspect is 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Hannah is 5-foot-7 and 115 pounds, with blond hair, blue eyes, a navel ring, nose stud and pierced ears. Ethan was described as 4-foot- 11 and 65 pounds, with sandy blond hair.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect or the missing children was asked to call the sheriff's department at (858) 565-5200.

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