BOULEVARD, Calif. -- Even as an Amber Alert for a missing San Diego County teen widened into Oregon and Washington, authorities said they are also looking for James Lee DiMaggio, the suspect in what they believe is a slaying-and-kidnapping case, in Mexico.
The FBI has been working with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s and Mexican authorities on the investigation since Monday, Sheriff’s Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.
DiMaggio lived in Boulevard, just north of the Mexican border, and his burning home was discovered Sunday evening. Christine Anderson, 44, was found dead inside, along with the burned remains of a child’s body.
Although an autopsy was conducted on the child, the body was badly burned and it has been difficult to obtain a DNA sample, Giannantonio said. It is believed to be Anderson’s 8-year-old son, Ethan.
His sister, 16-year-old Hannah Anderson, remains missing.
Late Wednesday afternoon, authorities issued Amber Alerts statewide in Oregon and Washington, urging people to be on the lookout for DiMaggio’s blue Nissan Versa, California license plate 6WCU986.
Authorities said DiMaggio might be traveling to Canada, after a car matching the description was seen driving north on U.S. 395 near the town of Alturas headed toward the Oregon border.
However, a source cautioned that officials do not know where DiMaggio may be.
Giannantonio said authorities have received “lots and lots of tips from across the country.”
“We are following up on each and every one of them that seems to have merit,” he said.
Meanwhile, DiMaggio’s neighbors said they are stunned by news that he is suspected of kidnapping and homicide.
Authorities said DiMaggio was a longtime friend of the Anderson family, and that the children called him “Uncle Jim.”
One of DiMaggio’s neighbors said they chatted across their shared chain-link fence, and another said DiMaggio told him he was pleased with the gas mileage on his new blue Nissan. When Christina Anderson brought her children to visit, he offered his home and yard for the other neighborhood children to play.
“There are some people, when something like this happens, that say, ‘This doesn’t surprise me,’” said Tom Calgaro, who lives next to DiMaggio. “This is not one of those. This is one of those typical things where neighbors are interviewed after something like this and they say, ‘He was a nice guy.’"