The loved ones of Hannah Anderson pushed to keep the teen in the spotlight Thursday as the search for the young woman ground into its fourth day.
As the investigation into her abduction expands into Nevada, Oregon and Washington, Brett Anderson, Hannah's father, told 10News.com he is mystified as to what might have led his old friend, Jim DiMaggio, to take her as authorities believe he has done.
“There was nothing ever to show any indication of this,” he said of the man his children had trusted enough to consider an uncle, though a friend said Hannah had recently become wary of him.
Anderson is not the only one with questions. The suspect's sister, Lora DiMaggio, also came forward and in tears, called him “a kind, giving, loving person” who has “done so much for so many people.”
Investigators acknowledged in the report that the acts Jim DiMaggio is accused of do “seem out of character for him,” as sheriffs Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said. He added, though, that detectives have collected “a vast amount of evidence” that points to the man's guilt.
DiMaggio is described as an accomplished outdoorsman and 10News is also reporting he may have explosives in his possession. Authorities have said several firearms have been recovered during their investigation.
The man is not only suspected in Hannah's disappearance, but also in the murder of her mother Christina Anderson and the death of a boy.
Their bodies were found in a burned-out home owned by DiMaggio in Boulevard, northwest of Jacumba. The fire was set Sunday, authorities said, to cover up the deaths.
Though Christina Anderson, 44, has been identified, the boy has not been, and the woman's son is officially part of the search for Hannah.
Family members, however, have said they are all but certain the boy whose body was found in the fire is Ethan, 8.
The boy “wore his heart on his sleeve,” his father told 10News. “He was just my buddy.” A friend of Hannah's, Marissa Chavez, remembered Ethan fondly as “a spazz” who liked to be with them when they were hanging out and enjoyed video games.
The FBI expanded its role in the search Thursday, as the probe broadened to include Nevada, after investigators looked into tips Wednesday that the car said to be driven by DiMaggio had been spotted in the far northeastern tip of the state and in southernmost Oregon.
Those sightings came 24 hours after a license plate reader caught an image of DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa in Orange County. The license plate number is 6WC986.
DiMaggio is described as 5'9,'' about 150 lbs, with brown hair and is clean shaven. Hannah, 16, is 5'7,'' about 115 lbs., blond, and has a pierced nose and pierced ears. Ethan is 4'11,'' 65 lbs., with sandy-colored hair.If you spot the suspect or the missing children, call 911 or the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at (858) 565-5200.
City News Service contributed to this report.