CASCADE, Idaho (TheBlaze/AP) —San Diego County Sheriff's officials say 16-year-old Hannah Anderson has been found safe in Idaho and her alleged abductor was shot dead by FBI agents, according to CNN.
This combination of undated photos provided by the San Diego Sheriff's Department shows James Lee DiMaggio, 40, left, and Hannah Anderson, 16. (Credit: AP)
Anderson “appears to be in pretty good shape,” Gore told the Los Angeles Times, adding that she will be “thoroughly evaluated” at a hospital before detectives talk to her.
The confrontation between 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio and the FBI happened after a campsite was spotted from the air, according to San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, who saidd DiMaggio was killed in the shootout, but declined to discuss details, saying authorities in Idaho will release details at a news conference planned Saturday evening.
He said San Diego sheriff's authorities have notified Hannah's father that she was rescued. "He was very relieved and very excited and looking forward to be reunited with his daughter," Gore said.
Federal and local law enforcement spent Saturday combing through Idaho's rugged Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in search of Hannah and DiMaggio. The two-million acre area is the largest roadless expanse in the lower 48 states, sprawling across central Idaho and reaching north to the Montana border.
DiMaggio was suspected of killing Hannah's mother, 44-year-old Christina Anderson, and her 8-year-old brother Ethan Anderson, whose bodies were found Sunday night in DiMaggio's burning house in California near the Mexico border.
DiMaggio's car was found Friday morning about 40 miles east of the tiny town of Cascade, parked where the dirt road ends and the Sand Creek trailhead enters the wilderness area.
Detectives with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department finished searching DiMaggio's car Saturday afternoon. They had the vehicle towed to a garage in Cascade for further processing.
The discovery of the car came about two days after a horseback rider reported seeing the man and girl hiking in the area. Ada County Sheriff's department spokeswoman Andrea Dearden, who is helping the Valley County sheriff's department handle the case, said the rider didn't realize the pair were being sought until he got home and recognized them in news reports.
Authorities have said DiMaggio had what they term an “unusual infatuation” with the 16-year-old, and are using that as a working theory.
DiMaggio told Hannah Anderson a couple months ago that he had a crush on her and would date her if they were the same age, said Marissa Chavez, a 15-year-old friend who witnessed the remarks when DiMaggio was driving them home from a gymnastics competition. Chavez said Hannah was “a little creeped out by it.”
“She was scared and she didn’t want to go around him anymore but didn’t know how to tell anybody,” neighbor Traci Paulson said, choking back tears.
DiMaggio argued with Hannah when he took her alone to Hollywood to celebrate her 16th birthday last month, Chavez said.
Police previously warned that DiMaggio’s car may have been abandoned and rigged with explosives, having found evidence in the rubble of his home that he may have fled with handmade explosives.
“In the event that someone comes across the car, they need to use caution,” San Diego County Sheriff’s Capt. Duncan Fraser said.
DiMaggio is wanted on suspicion of murder and arson in a search that began in California and spread to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, British Columbia and Mexico’s Baja California state.
A telecommunications technician at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, DiMaggio was said to be “like an uncle” to Hannah and Ethan Anderson. He was close to their parents for years.
Brett Anderson, the children’s father and Christina’s husband, recently moved to Tennessee.
Speaking with reporters, Anderson said: “Jim, I can’t fathom what you were thinking. The damage is done. I’m begging you to let my daughter go. You’ve taken everything else.”
Pausing to collect himself, he continued: “Hannah, we all love you very much. If you have a chance, you take it, you run. You’ll be found.”
Here's a report on DiMaggio's killing and Anderson's rescue, via Fox News:
This is a breaking news story. Updates will be added.