Boulevard double-murder suspect killed; kidnapped teen rescued
Saturday, Aug. 10—A double-murder and kidnapping suspect from Boulevard was fatally shot by a federal officer in an Idaho forest preserve today, after which the teenage girl he allegedly kidnapped was safely rescued, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said.
An FBI tactical agent killed 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio at about 4:15 p.m. California time, Gore said.
The family friend he allegedly had taken captive last weekend, 16-year-old Hannah Anderson of Lakeside, was then rescued, the sheriff told news crews during an early-evening briefing. She appeared unharmed, he said.
Gore declined to immediately provide any other details on the dramatic end to the six-day search for DiMaggio and the El Capitan High School student, including whether the suspect died in an exchange of gunfire.
Hundreds of law enforcement personnel had descended on the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area, east of Cascade, after a car owned by DiMaggio was found abandoned near a trailhead there Friday morning.
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, then torched the log cabin-style residence.
Firefighters found the victims’ remains and the body of their dog in the embers of the home.
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.
This morning and afternoon, about 250 investigators with from an array of agencies — including the FBI and state and local police from across the country — combed a roughly 300-square-mile area in the remote wilderness of central Idaho. 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 DiMaggio’s blue 2013 Nissan Versa over concerns that he might have booby-trapped it before ditching it in brush and fleeing on foot with Hannah Anderson, authorities said.
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 and the missing teen, who appeared unharmed and under no duress, and DiMaggio.
The fugitive’s sedan was found about five miles from where the sighting occurred.
—City News Service
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