Local News

Manhunt Ends With Teen Safe, But Questions Remain

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James Lee DiMaggio
(San Diego Sheriff’s Dept.)

CASCADE, Idaho (KTLA) — Many questions remained on Monday in the wake of the rescue of San Diego teen in Idaho, after her alleged abductor was shot and killed by FBI agents.

The events brought to an end the nearly week-long search for kidnapping and murder suspect James DiMaggio, 40.

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Anderson went missing after cheerleading practice in San Diego County on Saturday, Aug. 3.

The next day, the bodies of her mother, Christina Anderson, 42, and her 8-year-old brother, Ethan, were found about 45 miles east in DiMaggio’s burned-out house.

The remains of a dog were also recovered, police said.

The discovery spurred an Amber Alert and a multi-state manhunt.

The search zeroed in on central Idaho on Friday after the discovery of DiMaggio’s blue Nissan Versa outside the city of Cascade.

Then, a tip from horseback riders sent FBI agents swarming a campsite near Morehead Lake, deep in the Idaho wilderness.

They reported having a brief conversation with the pair while riding through the back country last Wednesday.

“Just like a square peg going into a round hole — it didn’t fit,” one of the riders, Mark Johnson said, recalling how the pair stuck out.

“He might have been an outdoorsman in California, but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho, and he didn’t fit,” Johnson said.

The riders contacted authorities after seeing the Amber Alert on the news.

Authorities spotted the pair’s campsite late Saturday afternoon, but the steep terrain forced helicopters to drop rescuers off some distance away.

Hostage rescue teams hiked more than two hours to get to the scene, officials from local sheriff’s departments said.

They moved in carefully so they wouldn’t alert DiMaggio that they were coming. Hannah was ushered to an area where a helicopter could take her away.

At some point, there was a confrontation that ended when an FBI tactical agent shot and killed DiMaggio, authorities said.

Hannah did not appear to have any significant physical injuries, and she was reunited with her father on Sunday.

Hannah was not aware that her mother and brother had been killed, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said on Monday.

He also said that she was being held “under duress” by DiMaggio.

Meantime, more clues were emerging into DiMaggio’s state of mind as the investigation continued.

A friend of Hannah’s told CNN that she was in a car with the pair a few months back when DiMaggio admitted that he had a crush on the teen.

The friend said Hannah did not tell her mother because she didn’t want to ruin the family’s close relationship with the man they referred to as “Uncle Jim.”

Also, DiMaggio had reportedly just lost his home in Boulevard, in rural San Diego County, to foreclosure.

Friends said he had pleaded for the Andersons to visit him at the house one last time.

Finally, reports have surfaced that, back in 1989, DiMaggio’s father was convicted for an assault at a motel in El Cajon.

The victim claimed she was an ex-girlfriend of the elder DiMaggio, and that she broke up with him after he professed his love for her then-16-year-old daughter.

Some of James DiMaggio’s friends also said they had feared he wanted to die on Saturday, Aug. 10.

That was the same day, they said, that his father took his own life in a drug-induced suicide back in 1995.

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