The California Highway Patrol issued a state wide Amber Alert for two children, 8-year-old Ethan Anderson and 16-year-old Hannah Marie Anderson, believed to have been kidnapped by James Lee DiMaggio after their mother’s charred body was found inside the house and garage that burned to the ground, in Boulevard, San Diego County. Hannah has blond hair, and blue eyes. She weighs 115 pounds, and has pierced ears, nose stud, and a belly button ring. Ethan has sandy blond hair, 64 pounds, and is 4 feet 11 inches tall.
Deputies and firefighters from Pine Valley and CalFire were called to respond to a deadly fire at Ross Avenue in the incorporated community of Boulevard about 8 p.m. Sunday. Deputies obtained a search warrant about 5 a.m., Monday and search the debris layer by layer to look for additional victims, according to spokesperson Sheriff’s Homicide Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio.
Sheriff’s Bomb/Arson investigators identified the body as 44-year-old Christina Anderson and determined she has been murdered, but it was not clear how she was killed. They believe the house was intentionally set on fire. Lieutenant Giannantonio confirmed that a weapon was found and confiscated but refused to elaborate.
A child’s body was also found through the rubble but the age, identity, or cause of death is yet to be determined. A dog was also found inside the burned structure.
Officials are searching for suspect 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio, who abducted one or both children. DiMaggio is 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, and has brown eyes and brown hair. Neighbors say he is single and moved to Boulevard from the city 45 years ago.
DiMaggio owned the burned home and has a close platonic relationship with Christina Anderson, but detectives did not elaborate the nature of their connection. Investigators believe that DiMaggio started the fire to cover up the murder, and they are not sure where he might take the missing children. The children were reported by their grandparents as missing.
Investigators are hoping to identify the victims and inform next of kin. San Diego Sheriff’s Department is also working with officials in Mexico as well as other law enforcement agencies in the region.
DiMaggio driving a 2013 blue Nissan Versa with the California license plate 6WCU986 is still on the run. Amber alert sends out alert messages to cellphones across the region as part of the partnership between the California Highway Patrol and cellphone companies.
Investigators believe they might be heading to Texas or Canada. DiMaggio is believed to be dangerous. If you see him or the children, do not approach them but call 911. A $1000 reward is up for information leading to the arrest.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas