California Authorities Search for Missing Siblings after Mother Slain

Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 04:11 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Authorities searched on Tuesday for a man they suspected of setting fire to his Southern California home, killing a woman thought to be a close friend and abducting one or both of her children before trying to flee the state.

The remains of the woman and an unidentified child were discovered at the house, whose owner, 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio, was believed to be headed for either Texas or Canada, law enforcement officials said.

"It'd be safe to say he is a very dangerous person, armed or not," San Diego Sheriff's Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio said of DiMaggio. "We're asking any members of the public who may believe they see him, don't attempt to contact him ... just call 911 and have law enforcement make the contact."

DiMaggio is suspected in the slaying of Christina Anderson, 44, with whom he apparently had a "close, platonic relationship," Giannantonio said, and is believed to have kidnapped one or both of Anderson's children, 16-year-old Hannah and 8-year-old Ethan.

The father of the two missing kids pleaded with the suspect to turn himself in. An emotional Brett Anderson addressed his remarks at a Tuesday news conference to DiMaggio, saying he could not fathom what DiMaggio was thinking.

Anderson also pleaded with his missing 16-year-old daughter Hannah to run away from DiMaggio if she got the chance.

Anderson did not refer to his son Ethan.

Giannantonio said the Anderson is aware that a child's body was discovered in the rubble outside of the burned house.

"We don't know who that is who was found in the rubble," Giannantonio said. "It's a possibility that it is Ethan, it's a possibility that it's another child that we haven't identified yet or don't realize is missing yet."

Christina Anderson's body was also discovered by firefighters sent to DiMaggio's burning home in the unincorporated desert community of Boulevard, east of San Diego near the Mexican border.

Investigators did not release details of how Anderson, a resident of the San Diego suburb of Lakeside, had been slain. The cause of the child's death was not yet determined.

A dog was also found killed in the same building, the sheriff's office said.

Giannantonio said authorities hoped to identify the remains of the child found in the next day or two. He said an autopsy of the body of Christina Anderson was completed on Tuesday, but he did not release its findings.

Giannantonio said authorities recovered weapons from the scene of the crime, but he did not disclose the type or number of weapons.

An Amber Alert child-abduction notice was issued for both Anderson children. Giannantonio said it was possible that DiMaggio had shaved his or the children's heads or changed their appearances in some other way.

Authorities did not say whether they have any theories on a possible motive in the case.

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