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Kidnapped teen's aunt pleas to suspect: 'She needs her family'

James Lee DiMaggioKidnappingFBI

The aunt of a missing San Diego County girl pleaded with the girl’s suspected kidnapper, asking him to bring 16-year-old Hannah Anderson home.

“I want him to bring my niece home to her family,” Andrea Saincome said in an interview with Headline News, “She needs her family. And he needs to get her home.”

Authorities believe that James Lee DiMaggio, 40, abducted Anderson and killed her mother, Christine Anderson, 44, of Lakeside. Saincome is Christine Anderson’s sister.

Christine Anderson’s body was found Sunday night in the burning rubble of DiMaggio’s home in the rural community of Boulevard in eastern San Diego County, authorities said. The remains of a child were also found, and are believed to be Christine Anderson’s 8-year-old son, Ethan, family members have said in interviews.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said that an autopsy on the child’s remains was performed Tuesday but that the autopsy results are sealed.

The FBI is assisting the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in its investigation, said Darrell Foxworth, an FBI spokesman.

DiMaggio has known the family “for years,” Saincome told Headline News. There “was nothing out of the ordinary” about DiMaggio when she met him, she said. She said there was no romantic relationship between Christine Anderson and DiMaggio.

“He seemed like just a genuinely nice guy,” she told Headline News. “He was close to the kids, and … he was good friends with my sister and my brother-in-law.”

The children’s father, Brett Anderson, is “a wreck,” Saincome said.

The case was the subject of California’s first Amber Alert text alert Monday and Tuesday. No one has seen Hannah Anderson or Ethan since their mother’s body was discovered, and DiMaggio disappeared over the weekend.

It is believed that DiMaggio, who is the owner of the home in Boulevard, has Hannah Anderson with him in his blue Nissan Versa, California license plate 6WCU986, said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department homicide detail.

Authorities have said they believe DiMaggio might be en route to Canada or Texas.

Texas public records indicate that DiMaggio was charged in Montgomery County, Texas, in 1995 with fleeing a peace officer, a misdemeanor charge. He was placed on one year of community supervision after entering a plea agreement with the state, said Darin Bailey, chief deputy for the Montgomery County clerk.

A Facebook page titled Prayers for Hannah Anderson has numerous comments from Hannah’s friends urging her safe return.

“You’re strong,” the creator of the page posted Wednesday afternoon. “If you can get the chance, take it…you will be found, I promise.”                                                      

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hailey.branson@latimes.com

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James Lee DiMaggioKidnappingFBI
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