Amber Alert Issued After Woman, Child Found Dead in Burned California Home

An amber alert is in effect for Hannah Anderson, 16, and Ethan Anderson, 8.

ByABC News
August 6, 2013, 10:10 AM

Aug. 6, 2013— -- A massive search is underway for a man who may have kidnapped the two children of a woman who was found dead in his scorched California home, authorities said.

James Lee DiMaggio, 40, of Boulevard, Calif., is suspected of killing Christina Anderson, 44, and abducting one or both of her children, Hannah Anderson, 16, and Ethan Anderson, 8, according to a San Diego County Sheriff's Department news release.

Anderson's two children were last seen at about 5 p.m. on Saturday, Lt. Glenn Giannantonio with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department told It is believed one or both of them may have been abducted by DiMaggio, the news release said.

About 8 p.m. Sunday, fire officials were called to put out a blaze at DiMaggio's Boulevard, Calif., home and its detached garage.

Inside one of the burning buildings, they found the mother's body, police said. Authorities said Anderson had been murdered, but would not provide additional details.

Investigators also found a dead dog and the body of a child while searching the burned buildings, according to the sheriff's department. It is unclear if the body found was one of Anderson's children, and the cause of death is not known at this time.

The body of the child found was so badly burned, investigators were unable to tell if it was a boy or a girl, Giannantonio said.

Anderson's body and the body of the child found were taken today to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's office for autopsies, Giannantonio said.

DiMaggio and Anderson "were in a close platonic relationship," according to the sheriff's department.

"My understanding is that it wouldn't be unusual for her to be [at his home] with the children," Giannantonio said.

DiMaggio was last seen driving a blue Nissan Versa with California license plates, is believed to be heading to either Texas or Canada, according to California Highway Patrol.