Amber Alert: Missing girl’s mom died of blunt force, source says

Athena Stewart lights a candle during a vigil at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, Calif. Missing teen Hannah Anderson is a student at the school.
Athena Stewart lights a candle during a vigil at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, Calif. Missing teen Hannah Anderson is a student at the school.
(Sean M. Haffey / Associated Press)

BOULEVARD, Calif. -- The mother of a missing San Diego County teen died of blunt force trauma and may have been hit with a crowbar, a source close to the investigation said.

The body of 44-year-old Christina Anderson was found Sunday in the garage of the burning home belonging to James Lee DiMaggio, who is now the focus of a four-state Amber Alert.

Authorities believe DiMaggio killed Christina Anderson and her 8-year-old son Ethan before abducting 16-year-old Hannah Anderson.

Christina Anderson’s body was found at DiMaggio’s home in Boulevard in eastern San Diego County. The burned body of a child was also found at the home. Although the child has not been identified because the body was badly burned, family members have said they believe it to be Ethan.


It is unclear when DiMaggio left, the source said. He has not been seen since Sunday’s fire.

An arrest warrant for murder has been issued for DiMaggio, and a judge has signed off on setting bail at $1 million in the event of his arrest, San Diego County sheriff’s officials said Thursday.

The San Diego County district attorney has not filed a case against DiMaggio, said Steve Walker, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.

On Thursday morning, “PRAY 4 HANNAH” was spelled out in pink plastic cups on a chain-link fence surrounding the teen’s school, El Capitan High in Lakeside. Deflating balloons and flowers were woven into the fence, along with a handful of signs.


“Pray for the Andersons,” one read.

On it, someone penned a message: “Hope you come home safe! God is with you Hannah! God will bring you back, I know it!”

DiMaggio, who works as a telecommunications technician at Scripps Institute in San Diego, has been described by authorities as a close family friend whom the Anderson children called “Uncle Jim.”

The Amber Alert for DiMaggio and his blue Nissan Versa was broadened to include Nevada on Thursday after being extended to Oregon and Washington on Wednesday afternoon.


So far, there have been no confirmed sightings, San Diego County sheriff’s officials said.

Washington State Patrol Sgt. Jason Hicks said Thursday his agency had received multiple tips following the expanded Amber Alert, but had “no luck yet.” The state’s electronic highway signs are now displaying the alert, he added, and all of the state’s law enforcement agencies have been notified.

“It’s working,” he said. “People are looking and we’re chasing down the leads, but we haven’t found the right car yet.”



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