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Hannah Anderson case: Investigation 'winding down,' official says

The investigation into Hannah Anderson’s kidnapping — and the grisly killings of her mother and brother — is "winding down," a spokeswoman for the San Diego County sheriff said this week.

Jan Caldwell told The Times on Tuesday that the detectives now are working to "close the book" on the case, and that in doing so, the 16-year-old girl who endured six days in captivity before being rescued in the Idaho wilderness will also see less media attention.

"Our investigation is winding down, and we hope that the attention does as well," Caldwell said. "Because we hope that Hannah and her family can begin this arduous process of grieving and learning how to deal with the new normal that they have."

Hannah’s kidnapper, James Lee DiMaggio, is suspected of killing the teenager’s mother, brother and family dog hours before hitting the road in his blue Nissan Versa and triggering a multistate Amber Alert.

Coroner's officials confirmed Monday that Christina Anderson, 44, died of blunt force injury to the head, but said it was unknown when her fatal injuries occurred. Details of 8-year-old Ethan's death have not been released.

Search warrants released last week said the two had been "tortured and killed," but did not elaborate.

Their bodies were discovered on DiMaggio’s property, which authorities said caught fire nearly 20 hours after DiMaggio fled with Hannah.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said DiMaggio and the 16-year-old were photographed in his Nissan Versa at a westbound Old Highway 8 checkpoint at 12:10 a.m. on Aug 4.

The fire at DiMaggio's property in Boulevard — which triggered the multistate search for Hannah — was reported about 8 p.m. that day.

"Because the fire erupted several hours after, we knew he had a good head start on us and our work was cut out for us," Caldwell said.

San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore previously said authorities believe DiMaggio planned his actions, and search warrants revealed incendiary devices and arson wire were found on his property. 

The case drew national attention as the search for Hannah and DiMaggio spread, triggering Amber Alerts across much of the West. The two were eventually tracked to a remote stretch of Idaho backcountry, where FBI agents raided their campsite Aug. 10.

Hannah was rescued safely. DiMaggio, who authorities said fired at least once at the agents before he was killed, was shot at least five times in the head and torso, the Valley County, Idaho, coroner said.

DiMaggio left $112,000 in life insurance to Hannah's grandmother, a DiMaggio family spokesman said Monday.

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kate.mather@latimes.com

Twitter: @katemather | Google+

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