Authorities Launch Nationwide Hunt for Murder and Kidnapping Suspect

A San Diego man publicly begged his neighbor to return his daughter, who he is suspected of kidnapping.


Authorities are continuing a nationwide manhunt for a southern California man who is suspected of killing a neighbor's wife and abducting one or both of his children.

Brett Anderson pleaded with his neighbor James Lee DiMaggio on Tuesday, begging him to release his 16-year-old daughter Hannah Anderson. DiMaggio is a suspect in the death of Brett Anderson's wife Christina, as well as the abduction of his daughter and the possible death or abduction of his 8-year-old son Ethan Anderson.

"Jim, I can't fathom what you were thinking. The damage is done," Brett Anderson said at a news conference at the San Diego County Sherrif's Department on Tuesday. "I'm begging you to let my daughter go. You've taken everything else."

This composite photo released by the San Diego Sheriff's Department shows James Lee Dimaggio, 40, left, Ethan Anderson, 8, and Hannah Anderson, 16, whose mother, Christina Anderson, 44, was one of two people found dead in a house fire Sunday night.

Neither Hannah Anderson nor Ethan Anderson has been seen since their mother's remains were found in a burned-down San Diego home on Sunday, and authorities believe either of them may be with DiMaggio en route to either Texas or Canada, CNN reported. DiMaggio is driving a blue four-door Nissan Versa, with California license plate 6WCU986.

Firefighters found Christina Anderson's body when they extinguished the flames at DiMaggio's home in southeast San Diego County around 8 p.m. on Sunday. They also found the remains of a child who may be the couple's 8-year-old son, according to the U-T San Diego. An autopsy was performed on Tuesday, but authorities said it may still take several days before they can determine if the body was Ethan's.

[READ: FBI Makes 500th Addition to Most Wanted Fugitives List]

"We don't know who that is that was found in the rubble. It is a possibility that it's Ethan," said San Diego Sherrif's Department Lt. Glenn Giannantonio. "It's a possibility that's another child that we haven't identified yet, or don't realize is missing yet."

Giannantonio said Christina Anderson's parents reported the children missing on Sunday, according to the U-T San Diego. Authorities issued an Amber Alert on Monday, first for San Diego County and then for the entire state, as well as Mexico's Baja California. The alert remained in effect on Wednesday as authorities continue their search.

Giannantonio said both Brett and Christina Anderson were close friends with DiMaggio, who was like an uncle to their children, The Associated Press reported.

Because the investigation is ongoing, Giannantonio said he could not discuss a possible motive for the killing or abduction.

Speaking at the press conference, Brett Anderson urged his daughter to flee if she had the chance.

"Hannah, we all love you very much," he said. "If you have a chance, you take it. You run. You'll be found."

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