Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Teen found safe in Idaho; alleged abductor killed

CASCADE, Idaho -- A harrowing weeklong search for a missing California teenager ended Saturday when FBI agents rescued the girl and shot and killed her apparent kidnapper at a campsite deep in the Idaho wilderness.

Hannah Anderson, 16, appeared to be uninjured and will be reunited soon with her father at a hospital, authorities said. Her suspected abductor, James Lee DiMaggio, 40, was killed after his campsite was found in Idaho's rugged Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, roughly 40 miles from the tiny town of Cascade.

Hannah was taken to a hospital where crisis counselors and health care providers were assisting her. Her father was expected to arrive in Idaho on Sunday to reunite with her.

"We will make sure she gets as much care as possible, physically and emotionally," said Andrea Dearden, a spokeswoman from the Ada County Sheriff's Department who has been leading the communication team for the interagency effort in Valley County.

The shooting came after officers participating in a massive manhunt for the pair spotted the campsite from the air and an FBI hostage recovery team trekked to the site near Morehead Lake.

"No one really knows where an investigation like this will lead," said Mary Rook, special agent in charge of the FBI's Salt Lake City division. "In this case, our team faced a very challenging situation."

The FBI said it was sending a team to investigate what unfolded before, during and after the shooting. Authorities offered few details Saturday night.

The location wasn't far from what had been the last known sighting of the pair. A horseback rider called authorities Thursday night to report that on Wednesday he had seen two people who resembled Anderson and DiMaggio with camping gear on a trail near the lake. The rider, whose name wasn't released, didn't realize they were subjects of a massive search until he got home and saw news reports.

The case began when the charred bodies of Hannah Anderson's mother, Christina Anderson, 44, and the teen's 8-year-old brother, Ethan Anderson, were found in DiMaggio's burning house outside San Diego, near the Mexico border.

DiMaggio was close to the family. Christina Anderson's husband, Brett Anderson, has described him as a best friend and said the children thought of him as an uncle.

Authorities have said DiMaggio had an "unusual infatuation" with Hannah, although the father said he never saw any strange behavior.

An Amber Alert was issued, and tips led investigators to Oregon after DiMaggio and the teen were reportedly spotted there.

But it wasn't until the Idaho horseback rider called in his tip that investigators found a major lead - DiMaggio's car, hidden under brush at a trailhead on the border of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho.

A contingent of about 270 law enforcement officers from the FBI, the Valley and Ada County sheriffs' offices, Idaho State Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Border Patrol, aided by experts from federal land management and wildlife agencies, worked around the clock to figure out the best way to track DiMaggio and the teen in the roadless area.

San Diego County Sheriff William D. Gore announced Hannah's rescue and DiMaggio's death from a news conference in California. He said members of his office notified Hannah's father, Brett Anderson, of her rescue.

"He was very relieved and very excited and looking forward to being reunited with his daughter," Gore said.

The father described a range of emotion in a text message to CNN.

"I am nervous excited saddened 4 my wife and son and worried what my daughter has been through," he wrote to the network. "It's now healing time. Keep us in your prayers."

At a separate news conference in Idaho, Dearden said she didn't know if DiMaggio fired shots at officers but there were no reports of any injuries to authorities involved in the encounter. Cascade residents gathered behind Dearden, Rook and the other officials gathered at the news conference and cheered at the news of Hannah's rescue.

Rook said FBI victim specialists were working with Hannah and her family to get them the resources they need.

"As grateful as we are that she was recovered safely, we also remember the other victims in this case who lost their lives," Rook said.

FBI policy calls for an investigation whenever an agent fires a weapon, Rook said. A team from Washington, D.C., was preparing to investigate the events at the campsite, and until that investigation is complete, Rook said she couldn't share any other details.

Comments
Police: ‘Man-bun bandit’ seen stealing packages from Clearwater home

Police: ‘Man-bun bandit’ seen stealing packages from Clearwater home

Clearwater Police are searching for a "man-bun bandit" who is seen stealing packages from a residence.Police on Thursday tweeted this video of the suspect, who is seen attempting to balance multiple packages while gathering them at a home on Majestic...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay area doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

Tampa Bay area doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

To no one’s surprise, Amazon on Thursday released its list of location finalists for its second headquarters, and neither Tampa nor St. Petersburg was on it."We knew it was going to be a long shot and a difficult road," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said....
Updated: 1 hour ago

As temperatures fall and rise, Tampa braces for another round of water main breaks

TAMPA — This week’s cold snap is expected to keep the city of Tampa’s utility crews busy over the next few days.The city is bracing for another spike in water main breaks as temperatures climb from this morning’s near record lows and another round of...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Sometimes, people in authority need a reality check before they can recognize a problem that should have been obvious.In this case, it took a meticulously reported story last Sunday by education writer Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times to alert Hi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

TAMPA — The bearded man with shackled hands sat slumped and weeping as he listened to witness after witness — his mom, aunt and sister among them — recount his childhood of poverty, abuse, and depression.Kyle Moran leaned forward occasionally, stretc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Winter weather deaths climb to 15 as the South cleans up snow

Winter weather deaths climb to 15 as the South cleans up snow

The deep freeze that shut down much of the South began to relent Thursday as crews salted and cleared roads after a slow-moving storm left ice and snow in places that usually enjoy mild winters. At least 15 people were killed in accidents and frigid ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Oldsmar rejects plan to host cycling event

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 3-2 against hosting a 2018 BMX World Cup qualifying event that would have brought 200 elite riders to the city and been broadcast in 42 counties. The decision came in December after two lengthy discussions about Oldsm...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Deal clears way for Oldsmar townhomes

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 4-1 last month in favor of approving a development agreement for a 50-unit townhome community on a nearly 4-acre parcel on St. Petersburg Drive. According to the terms of the agreement, Oldsmar Towns LLC will build a ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Safety Harbor centennial banners on sale for $50

SAFETY HARBOR — Safety Harbor commemorative centennial banners are on sale for $50, with proceeds to benefit the city’s Partners in Progress Youth Scholarship fund. To purchase a banner, fill out the order form at safetyharbor.com and return with pay...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Contest seeks designs for new bike racks at Safety Harbor library

Contest seeks designs for new bike racks at Safety Harbor library

SAFETY HARBOR — The Safety Harbor Public Library and the Friends of the Safety Harbor Library are seeking design submissions for bike racks with an artistic flair as two traditional library bike racks at the facility will be replaced with ones design...
Updated: 3 hours ago