Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Warrants Show Man Used Incendiary Devices In Fatal Boulevard Fire

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man shot and killed in Idaho by FBI agents after allegedly abducting a Lakeside teen and killing her mother and brother a week earlier used incendiary devices to set two separate fires in his Boulevard cabin, where the victims' bodies were found, according to a search warrant obtained Thursday.

Photo credit: California Highway Patrol

James Lee DiMaggio allegedly abducted 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and possibly 8-year-old Ethan Anderson from Boulevard, San Diego County, Aug. 3, 2013.

The warrant -- obtained by several news agencies -- said several incendiary devices were found at James Lee DiMaggio's burned-out log cabin, including an "arson wire.''

Sheriff's detectives additionally found a handwritten note in the home, along with "Letters from Hanna'' (sic), apparently written by 16-year-old kidnap victim Hannah Anderson, but the contents of the note and letters were not revealed in the warrant.

The document also does not indicate who wrote the note, or how it's related to the investigation.

The nine-page search warrant also lists items taken from DiMaggio's home, including handcuff boxes, two used condoms and a box of ammunition.

Authorities say DiMaggio killed 44-year-old Christina Anderson, her 8-year-old son, Ethan, and their dog at his East County residence on Aug. 4, and kidnapped her daughter before setting the cabin and garage on fire.

Authorities located DiMaggio, 40, and the girl last Saturday near Morehead Lake, about 80 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho. He was fatally shot after firing at least once at the FBI agents. The girl, who was unharmed, was told of the deaths of her mother and brother after being rescued, authorities said.

According to another search warrant released Wednesday, a fire captain found Christina Anderson's body face-down under a tarp in the garage and the body of the dog under a sleeping bag about 8 p.m. A crow bar possibly used in the killing was found by her head, along with blood.

The badly burned body of a child -- determined to be Ethan -- was located later inside the residence.

According to a separate search warrant obtained Wednesday, Hannah Anderson was picked up from cheerleading practice by an unknown person at Sweetwater High School about 4 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Records show that prior to her phone and DiMaggio's phone being shut off that afternoon around the same time, they called each other 13 times, according to the warrant.

Authorities learned through interviews with the girl's friend that DiMaggio -- who the family called "Uncle Jim'' -- took her on multiple short trips, the most recent one to Malibu and Hollywood.

DiMaggio had been a friend of her dad's for about 20 years, and Brett Anderson, who was separated from his wife, had asked him to look after his family when a job transfer took him to Tennessee several months ago, according to published reports.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.