A mother is dead, a child is dead, a dog is dead, and at least one child is missing amid a massive search for the man suspected to be responsible for the cargage.
The dead bodies were found Sunday night in the home of James Lee DiMaggio, 40, who is on the loose with at least one of the mother’s children.
Here’s what you should know about this tragic situation developing out of San Diego, California.
1. An Amber Alert Was Issued for 2 Children
Smartphone users across California were awakened by an Amber Alert message late Monday night, telling them Ethan Anderson, age 8, and his sister Hannah Anderson, 16, were missing and thought to have been abducted by James Lee DiMaggio, age 40. It was the first statewide cellphone Amber Alert message in state history.
As of Thursday morning, the Amber Alert has spread from California to Washington and Oregon.
2. Their Mother and a Child Were Found Dead in the Suspect’s Burned-Down Home
Christina Anderson, 44, mother of the two children in the Amber Alert, was found dead on Sunday night amid the embers of DiMaggio’s burned-down home at 2071 Ross Avenue in Boulevard, San Diego County, where he lived alone. Also recovered was the body of a deceased child, and a dead dog was found on the property.
The Los Angeles Times is now reporting that Christina Anderson died of blunt force trauma and, “may have been hit with a crowbar.”
The children’s grandparents reported them missing.
3. The Deceased Child May Be Ethan
— Barbara Richards (@sdbrichards) August 6, 2013
On Tuesday, information emerged indicating that the deceased child may be Ethan — despite his being listed as an abductee — and that only Hannah may be with James.
A woman identifying herself as Christina’s aunt, posting on the Prayers for Hannah Anderson Facebook Page, clarified why the page wasn’t requesting prayers for Ethan:
Authorities are still awaiting the results of DNA testing.
4. The Suspect, a Friend of the Family, Was Called ‘Uncle Jim’ by the Kids
James “Jim” DiMaggio was a friend of the children’s father and played a significant role in their lives, especially after the dad, Brett Anderson, moved to Tennessee for work six months ago.
“The family thought DiMaggio was going to help take care of them while Brett Anderson was away,” according to a family friend interviewed by local news station ABC 10.
DiMaggio’s Instagram account, under the handle @bajabuddie, even has a profile picture posing with the two children.
He went on vacations with the family, according to numerous Facebook photos, and was described in early reports as a “close, platonic” friend of the mother, Christina.
5. DiMaggio ‘Had a Crush’ on the Teenage Hannah
ABC 10’s interview with a close family friend also revealed a darker side to the relationship between 16-year-old Hannah and her “Uncle” Jim. According to the friend, Jim recently told Hannah that he had a crush on her. Hannah’s friend did not reveal that fact to an adult until after the Amber Alert had been issued.
Hannah was very active on social media and she and her accused kidnapper followed each other on many platforms.
DiMaggio (@Bajabuddie) is followed on Instagram by @HANNAH_XOXO, Hannah Anderson.
6. Police Are Looking for a Blue Nissan
People were told to be on the lookout for a 2013 blue Nissan Versa with the license plate 6WCU986.
7. DiMaggio May Be Headed to Texas or Canada
Police say DiMaggio may be fleeing to Canada or Texas. As of Thursday morning, there have been a number of possible, but unsubstantiated sightings of the blue Nissan Versa. CBS reports that the first sighting was on Wednesday in northeast California near Alturas, and the second was 50 miles further along the same highway near Lakeview in Oregon. The latest reports of unconfirmed sightings are coming from as far north as Washington, although the Amber Alert was also just declared for Nevada.
The website instantcheckmate.com, which allows average users to perform online background checks, lists a James L. DiMaggio, also 40 years old, also having lived in Boulevard, California, shows a past address in Ingleside, Texas.
8. The Children’s Father Made a Heartbreaking Plea to the Suspect
Brett Anderson, father of Ethan and Hannah, husband of the deceased Christina, and a friend of the suspect, reportedly moved to Tennessee from the San Diego area six months ago for work. He spoke at a press conference on Tuesday (August 6) outside the San Diego County Sheriff’s office, speaking directly to both Jim and Hannah (watch the clip above):
Jim, I cannot fathom what you were thinking. The damage is done. I’m begging you to let my daughter go. You’ve taken everything else. Hannah, we all love you very much. If you have a chance, you take it. You run. You’ll be found. Thank you.
The fact that Brett does not mention Ethan reinforces the presumption that his son was the child found dead in DiMaggio’s home.
9. Ethan is 4-foot-11, 65 pounds, With Sandy Blonde Hair
Hannah is 5-foot-7, 115 pounds, With Blonde Hair, a Belly-Button Ring and a Nose Stud
DiMaggio is 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, With Brown Hair and Brown Eyes & Facial Hair
DiMaggio May Have Altered His Appearance
If DiMaggio shaved his facial hair to avoid detection, he may look like this photo released by cops (above).
10. There’s a $1,000 Reward
The local sheriff’s department is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of DiMaggio. Call 911 or 585-974-2321 if you see DiMaggio or Hannah Anderson.