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Amber Alert: Father pleads with kidnapper to let his daughter go

August 06, 2013|By Tony Perry
  • Jim DiMaggio with the girl he has allegedly kidnapped, Hannah Anderson, on a trip to Los Angeles earlier this year.
Jim DiMaggio with the girl he has allegedly kidnapped, Hannah Anderson,… (Tom Calgaro )

SAN DIEGO -- The father of the children possibly abducted by a neighbor who killed their mother made a televised plea Tuesday for the alleged kidnapper to let them go.

Addressing alleged killer James Lee DiMaggio as "Jim," Brett Anderson said: "I can't fathom what you were thinking. ... Let my daughter go, you've taken everything else."

Although Anderson only mentioned his daughter, 16-year-old Hannah, investigators from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department say it is possible that the 40-year-old DiMaggio also has 8-year-old Ethan.

Anderson urged Hannah to run away if she gets a chance. He took no questions in a brief appearance outside the Sheriff's Department headquarters.

DiMaggio is suspected of killing Christina Anderson, 44, of Lakeside and then kidnapping one or both of the children. Brett and Christina Anderson are divorced.

Christina Anderson's body was found Sunday night in the burning rubble of a house and garage in the rural community of Boulevard in eastern San Diego County, authorities said. She had been killed, they said.

The remains of a child were also found, but the child's identity and cause of death have not been determined, said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio of the Sheriff's Department's homicide detail.

It is believed that DiMaggio has one or both of Anderson's children with him in his blue Nissan Versa, California license plate 6WCU986, Giannantonio said.

Giannantonio said investigators are chasing numerous tips but "realistically we don't know where they're going." Early tips suggested that DiMaggio was headed for Texas or Canada. An Amber Alert was issued Monday.

Giannantonio said the medical examiner was attempting to determine if the body was one of Anderson's children, possibly Ethan. The children thought of DiMaggio as "Uncle Jim," he said.

Anderson was only known to have two children, he said.

DiMaggio is the owner of the home in Boulevard and had a "close platonic relationship" with Christina Anderson, authorities said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the homicide detail at (858) 974-2321 or (858) 565-5200, or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

A neighbor, Tom Calgaro, said that DiMaggio was "soft-spoken, very polite, easy-going. We used to chat over the fence."

He noted that DiMaggio was particularly friendly with Hannah, taking her to Hollywood to celebrate her 16th birthday.

Times photojournalist Don Bartletti contributed to this report.

Twitter: @LATsandiego

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