Warrants released Wednesday reveal what investigators were seeking in the early stages of their search for missing Lakeside teen Hannah Anderson, while autopsy results showed suspect Jim DiMaggio was shot at least five times.
Though Hannah, 16, was rescued Saturday north of Boise, Idaho, intense interest remains in the case, from a focus on the girl's online communications following her release to aspects of the investigation that previously had been kept under court seal.
The nearly week-long search for the El Capitan High School junior began Aug. 4 with a fire in Boulevard, in a remote southeast area of San Diego County.
Sheriffs detectives quickly determined the identity of one body at the scene of the blaze, Christina Anderson, after a fire captain found her remains under a tarp in a detached garage. There was a crowbar nearby and a substance that appeared to be blood by her head.
After deputies entered the garage, they also found the body of a dog. A boy's body – later determined to Christina Anderson's son Ethan, 8 – was found by deputies and CalFire officials in a log cabin on the property, which was owned by DiMaggio, who quickly became the focus of the detectives' search.
To find him, investigators turned their attention to Christina Anderson's Lakeside home and a Yahoo email account.
Warrants were served at her Laurel Street residence and to the Internet giant, in search of any information that might be gleaned via email. As detectives wrote, they believed Hannah might “attempt to communicate through her email account.”
The warrants were sought late Tuesday, Aug. 6, hours after a Sheriffs briefing in which Hannah's father Brett pleaded for her release. Her grandparents, who live in Santee, made public pleas.
The orders were signed the next day.
Meanwhile, detectives had learned that Hannah Anderson was at cheerleading practice in National City at Sweetwater High School until 4 p.m., about four hours before the Boulevard home was reported to be burning.
It also was roughly the same time her phone was turned off. She and DiMaggio had been in contact about 13 times that day, according to the documents.
In the course of the investigation, several electronic items were seized, including laptop computers, cameras, music players, a tablet and a camcorder.
A $1 million warrant also was issued for DiMaggio's arrest on murder charges.
While the warrants were released in San Diego Wednesday, authorities in Idaho's Valley County revealed that DiMaggio, 40, sustained at least five bullet wounds – to his head, chest and extremities and likely died instantly.
He died at the hands of a federal hostage-rescue team that tracked the pair to at a campsite near Morehead Lake, about 80 miles northeast of Boise. When the suspect shot at the team with a rifle, at least one member returned fire, according to law enforcement officials.
Hannah was nearby when DiMaggio died but was unhurt. She was home in the San Diego area by Monday and Sheriff Bill Gore said it was clear the young woman had been taken against her will. She did not learn of the deaths of her other and brother until after her rescue.
The extensive search for the girl – and initially her little brother, before his remains were identified – began with an Amber Alert for California on Aug. 5, which by the close of the investigation had broadened to include four other states.
Authorities credited the alert system with giving notice to a group of explorers on horseback who summoned police after seeing Hannah and DiMaggio Aug. 7. in an extremely remote region of Idaho known as the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area.
Community members plan a show of support for the Andersons Thursday, when Boll Weevil, 9741 Winter Greens Blvd., in Lakeside plans to give 20 percent of the day’s proceeds to the family.
City News Service contributed to this report.