SD Sheriff's Dept.: Sightings of James DiMaggio car in Oregon unfounded

Amber Alert issued in Ore., Wash. and Nevada

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said two reported sightings in Oregon of a car related to an Amber Alert issued for two missing local children is not valid.

Late Wednesday afternoon, an Amber Alert was activated in Oregon after state authorities received a report that a blue 2013 Nissan Versa (Calif. license plate 6WCU986) possibly driven by James Lee DiMaggio was seen near the Oregon border. Another sighting was later reported in the southern part of the state near the town of Lakeview. An Amber Alert was also issued in Washington and Nevada.

San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said the Oregon sightings and other reported sightings throughout the day proved to be invalid. He told 10News as of late Wednesday afternoon there are still no solid leads in the search.

Officials with the Oregon State Police told 10News they will pursue any leads until they can confirm the car is not in Oregon.

DiMaggio, 40, is believed to be on the run with 16-year-old Hannah Anderson, of Lakeside, and, possibly, her 8-year-old brother Ethan, according to San Diego sheriff's officials. Investigators suspect, however, that the boy may have been one of those killed last weekend on DiMaggio's rural property off Old Highway 80 in Boulevard.

Firefighters discovered the bodies of 44-year-old Christina Anderson, a longtime friend of DiMaggio's, and the body of a child in the rubble of the suspect's burned-out Ross Avenue home shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday. The whereabouts of Ethan and Hannah have been unknown since.

The remains of the younger victim likely will remain unidentified pending completion of DNA comparisons, a process that could take several days, Giannantonio said.

"An autopsy was conducted on the second body found in the house. The remains are consistent with an 8-year-old child, which was Ethan's age. We will be trying to get DNA from the remains and will be comparing the DNA profile with Ethan's parents to see if there is a match," said Giannantonio said. "The body was burned so badly we may not get a match, but we are optimistic."

On Tuesday evening, the father of the missing children addressed the suspect, formerly a close friend, through the news media.

"Jim, I can't fathom what you were thinking," Brett Anderson said in front of sheriff's headquarters in Kearny Mesa. "The damage is done. I'm begging you to let my daughter go. You've taken everything else."

He also directed a few urgent comments to his absent daughter.

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

A statewide Amber Alert was issued Monday evening. Authorities believe DiMaggio may have headed to either Texas or Canada.

The suspect is 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Hannah is 5-foot-7 and 115 pounds, with blond hair, blue eyes, a navel ring, nose stud and pierced ears. Ethan was described as 4-foot-11 and 65 pounds, with sandy blond hair.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect or the missing children was asked to call the sheriff's department at 858-565-5200.

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