Alleged Abductor of California Teen Killed in Idaho Wilderness
James DiMaggio — the California murder suspect who allegedly kidnapped 16-year-old Hannah Anderson — was shot and killed by an FBI agent in the Idaho wilderness, a sheriff said Saturday.
Authorities first spotted the pair’s campsite from the air, then sent in law enforcement personnel on the ground, said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. An FBI tactical agent killed DiMaggio during a confrontation about 5:15 p.m. (7:15 p.m. ET) near Morehead Lake, said the sheriff.
The teenage girl was found alive near him.
“She appears well and was rescued and will be transported to a hospital in Idaho,” Gore said.
Hannah Anderson was last seen at her cheerleading practice August 3; her mother and brother died in a fire at DiMaggio’s home in San Diego County the next day.
About 250 law enforcement personnel — among them about 150 FBI agents, in addition to state, county and other federal agents — had converged on the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, about 15 miles outside Cascade, Idaho, looking for the teenage girl and DiMaggio, who’d been described as a friend of Hannah’s family.
In addition to guarding all ways out, they tried to cover about 300 square miles of rough terrain frequented by nature lovers near where DiMaggio’s car was found — hidden by brush and with its license plates removed — on Friday.
This came after a tip from earlier this week leading them to focus on the area of Idaho about 1,000 miles north of southern California where the girl and her alleged abductor were from.
Shortly before DiMaggio’s death, Ada County, Idaho, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Andrea Dearden had vowed that authorities would “use every single resource possible.”
“Whatever they feel is most effective and most useful, that’s what they are going to use,” the spokeswoman said.
Gore, the San Diego County sheriff, expressed elation that Hannah will be reunited with her father, Brett. The father will head to Idaho, where he will likely reunite with his daughter Sunday morning.
Brett Anderson said that he was going through a range of emotions Saturday. “It’s now healing time,” Anderson said via text.
As to Hannah’s alleged kidnapper, the sheriff had few details to offer late Saturday afternoon about how he was killed, beyond saying there had been a “confrontation.”
“Obviously we would have liked for Mr. DiMaggio to surrender and face justice in the court of law,” Gore said. “But that’s not going to be the case.”
By Greg Botelho. Mariano Castillo and David Simpson.
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