Amber Alert kidnap suspect may be using explosives, officials say
Authorities searching for a missing San Diego County teenager allegedly abducted by a family friend warned that her alleged abductor might be using explosives.
The suspect, James Lee DiMaggio, 40, might have abandoned his blue Nissan Versa and left it booby-trapped with explosives, authorities said, warning people that if they find the vehicle or anywhere he might have stopped, they should stay away.
DiMaggio is an avid outdoorsman, and authorities are also urging people to be on the lookout at campsites and other rural areas where he might be hiding.
“Basically, the search area is the United States, Canada and Mexico,” said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. “The search area is North America.”
As the search fanned out Thursday, authorities had no confirmed sightings of Anderson or DiMaggio, who is believed to have abducted the teenager Sunday after killing her mother and 8-year-old brother in Boulevard, a rural border town in eastern San Diego County.
An Amber Alert for Hannah Anderson and her brother Ethan was active in four states Thursday, though authorities said it was possible she might have been taken to Texas, or even Canada. Boulevard is about five miles north of the Mexican border, and the FBI was working with Mexican authorities to search for DiMaggio, Giannantonio said.
New details in the case emerged Thursday about the death of Hannah’s mother, 44-year-old Christina Anderson of Lakeside, another community east of San Diego. Anderson died of blunt force trauma and may have been hit with a crowbar, a source close to the investigation said.
Anderson’s body was found in a stand-alone garage near DiMaggio’s burning home, the source said. The body of a child was found in the house. Although the child has not been identified because the body was badly burned and DNA difficult to obtain, family members have said they believe it to be Ethan.
Christina Anderson’s dog was also found dead on the property, Giannantonio said.
An arrest warrant for murder has been issued for DiMaggio, and a judge agreed to set bail at $1 million if he is arrested, San Diego County sheriff’s officials said Thursday.
As the Amber Alert widened to Nevada, authorities said DiMaggio might have changed vehicles.
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