San Diego-area home timed to set fire after kidnap

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Southern California authorities say a family friend who kidnapped a 16-year-old girl used a timer to set fire to his San Diego-area home, where the girl’s mother and brother were found dead.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said Tuesday that James Lee DiMaggio was spotted on a Border Patrol surveillance camera about 20 hours before his home went up in flames on Aug. 4. He was seen inside his Nissan Versa with 16-year-old Hannah Anderson at a westbound highway checkpoint.

Authorities recovered an incendiary device and “arson wire” at DiMaggio’s home in Boulevard.

DiMaggio died in a shootout with FBI agents in the Idaho wilderness six days after the fire. Hannah was rescued and returned to California.

Christina Anderson, 44, whose body was found near the remains of her 8-year-old son, died of a blunt injury to the head, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

The coroner does not elaborate on the nature of Anderson’s head injury or the circumstances of her death in a brief posting to its website. The manner of death is listed as homicide.

A search warrant unsealed last week says firefighters found her body near a crowbar and what appeared to be blood next to her head in the garage of DiMaggio’s home in Boulevard, about 65 miles east of San Diego on the U.S.-Mexico border. DiMaggio is believed to have shot and killed their family dog, found under a sleeping bag in the garage with blood close to its head.

Investigators found 8-year-old Ethan Anderson’s body as they sifted through rubble. Authorities identified his remains several days later by extracting DNA from his bone marrow.

The coroner’s office has not said how the 8-year-old died.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday for the mother and son in Santee, an east San Diego suburb.

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