By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery
August 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Two major developments have occurred in the search for missing Lakeside children Hannah Anderson, 16, and her brother, Ethan, 8. Tonight, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore announced that remains found in murder/kidnapping suspect James DiMaggio’s home in Boulevard have been identified as Ethan. The children’s mother, Christina Anderson, was found murdered inside the burned home, the Sheriff has reported.
Earlier today, DiMaggio’s car was positively identified in the rugged Frank Church wilderness area near the River of No Return in Idaho. During a live feed from KTFB in Idaho, Acting Public Information Officer Andrea Reardon of the Valley County Sheriffs Department confirmed that horseback riders “came across a man and a woman near Moorhead Lake” about six miles from where the car was later found. The pair matched the descriptions of DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson.
There was nothing immediately alarming about the encounter, but a witness noted they had both hiking and camping gear. What the witness noticed was “something odd about the interaction.”
Once the witness got home, he saw media reports and called the Amber Alert system to report the possible sighting. Idaho State Police were involved this morning, and after searching the area near Moorhead Lake they “found the Nissan Versa that came from San Diego.” The license plate had been removed and an effort was made to conceal it beneath brush, however a vehicle identification number provided positive confirmation.
"I'm very confident -- and I think we should all be optimistic -- that (Hannah) appeared to be in ... good health and was alive on Wednesday," Sheriff Gore said, 10 News reported. "And we hope that ... law enforcement will find them in the mountains there, and return them safely."
DiMaggio reportedly bought camping gear in recent weeks and friends have indicated he is an avid outdoorsman.
He cautioned that DiMaggio may be armed with explosives. The car has been secured by has not yet been for evidence until it can be determined that it is not booby-trapped.
This trail head is 50–60 miles East of the Cascades. “The distance from the trail head is about six to eight back country miles into the wilderness area,” said Reardon. “You cannot access it by car. They were on foot.”
Authorities said that there are multiple teams already on the ground, searching by foot, horseback, all terrain vehicles, as well as an aerial search. She also said that more teams are on the way, from multiple local, State and Federal Agencies.. It is being treated as a Search and Rescue mission
Reardon said there are no evacuations in place, but there are road blocks set up. While they are focused on recovering Hannah Anderson, they also have to be mindful of security concerns for all involved.