A massive search for a San Diego girl who was allegedly abducted by a family friend last weekend stretched into its fifth day on Friday, as authorities warned that the man accused of kidnapping the teenager may be using explosives.
Hannah Anderson, 16, has not been seen since the body of her mother Christina, 44, was found in a burned-down home in southeast San Diego County Sunday night. The family's neighbor and close friend, James DiMaggio, 40, owned the house and is suspected of killing the teenager's mother and abducting one or both of her children.
Police also found the body of a small child in the ashes of the fire, but have not yet determined if it was the body of Christina Anderson's 8-year-old son, Ethan.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert on Monday, one day after the children's maternal grandparents reported them missing. Since then, the search has expanded from San Diego County, to several other states, as police believe DiMaggio may have been heading toward either Texas or Canada.
"Basically, the search area is the United States, Canada and Mexico," said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, according to The Los Angeles Times. "The search area is North America."
On Thursday, authorities said DiMaggio may have abandoned the blue Nissan Versa he was driving, leaving it armed with explosives. Officials reported possible sightings of DiMaggio's car on Wednesday near Alturas, Calif., and about an hour away near Lakeview, Ore., according to The Associated Press. Authorities also reported Thursday a possible sighting near the city of Bremerton, Wash., just west of Seattle, but urged people to stay away if they saw the car.
"Working on the theory that he abandoned the car, we think there is a possibility that the car might be rigged," said San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell, according to CNN. "So we want to put out there for civilian safety, for officer safety, if you see the car, do not approach it but call law enforcement."
Officials also released new details about the cause of death of Christina Anderson. A source close to the investigation told the L.A. Times that the woman died of blunt force trauma and may have been hit with a crowbar.
Police also believe that DiMaggio, who they said was like an uncle to the two children, may have had an unusual infatuation with the 16-year-old girl he is accused of kidnapping.
Marissa Chavez, 15, is a classmate of Hannah's and said DiMaggio recently made a comment that made the girls uncomfortable, the U-T San Diego reported.
"He said he had a crush on her, but didn't mean it in an intimate way," Chavez said. "He said, 'If I was your age, I'd date you.'"
Hannah Anderson's maternal grandparents made a plea for her safe return.
"We need her home, she needs to be home," her grandmother said, according to CBS. "You've taken our heart and soul, you've taken my only child and please let Hannah go."