BOULEVARD - An Amber Alert issued for a 16-year-old girl and a 8-year-old boy who were abducted from Boulevard and possibly with a man suspected in a deadly fire has been upgraded to a statewide alert.
Hannah Marie Anderson, 16, and Ethan Anderson, 8, were last seen in Boulevard on Saturday. Hannah Marie is described as having blonde hair and blue eyes. She is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 115 pounds. Ethan is described as having sandy blonde hair. He is 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 65 pounds.
Authorities believe the children may be with 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio, who is wanted in connection with a deadly fire in Boulevard.
Late Monday, the California Highway Patrol announced that the Amber Alert issued earlier has been upgraded to a statewide alert and that DiMaggio is believed to be traveling to either Texas or Canada.
He is believed to be driving a blue 2013 Nissan Versa with California license plate 6WCU986. If seen, call 911 and do not approach the individuals.
During a 9 p.m. news conference, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio told reporters that DiMaggio's beard and mustache may have been shaved off. The sheriff's department released an updated photo of DiMaggio without facial hair late Monday.
The fire in Boulevard was reported Sunday just after 8 p.m. at 2071 Ross Avenue, according to sheriff's officials. A home and detached garage were engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
According to sheriff's officials, inside the home, firefighters found the body of 44-year-old Lakeside resident Christina Anderson. Investigators determined she had been slain. Detectives say DiMaggio killed Anderson inside his Boulevard home before setting it on fire.
"We do believe that this was an arson," said Giannantonio. "We believe he murdered Anderson, and we believe that he set the structure on fire."
Additionally, investigators found a dog that had been killed, and in another part of the property, the remains of an unidentified child were discovered. The child's cause of death has not yet been determined.
"Basically dug through the rubble of the entire house … when they were doing that – essentially sifting through the rubble – they located the remains of the boy," said Giannantonio.
Authorities are not identifying the body. However, a Facebook post by a woman who says she is Anderson's sister claims investigators have identified the remains as Anderson and her son.
DiMaggio has been identified as a suspect in the case, and investigators said it is believed Anderson and DiMaggio were in a "close and platonic relationship," not romantic.
The whereabouts of Anderson's two children – 16-year-old Hannah Marie and 8-year-old Ethan – are unknown. It is believed that one or both of the children have been abducted by DiMaggio, whose whereabouts also remain unknown.
Giannantonio said they have requested FBI assistance in locating them.
On Monday, 10News spoke with DiMaggio's ex-wife, who did not want to be identified.
She said DiMaggio met Anderson when she worked together with her as a receptionist more than a decade ago. She said DiMaggio was best friends with Anderson's husband.
She described DiMaggio as an introvert who enjoyed video games but was never known to be violent. She divorced him in 2003 because she said he was getting distant.
Investigators from the sheriff's Homicide Detail, Bomb/Arson and Crime Lab are participating in the investigation.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at 858-974-2321 or after hours at 858-565-5200. Callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.