After six days of a widespread Amber Alert and with the help of more than 200 state and federal law enforcement officials, missing San Diego teenager Hannah Anderson was found safe and the man accused of abducting her, James Lee DiMaggio, is dead, San Diego County officials said Saturday.
DiMaggio, 40, of Boulevard was shot and killed at 4:20 p.m. PT Saturday north of Morehead Lake in the Idaho backcountry.
Three U.S. Marshals flying a plane above the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area spotted a tent Saturday morning. They called in FBI SWAT and Hostage Rescue Team to move in on the campsite.
Few details were released by the FBI on how, exactly, DiMaggio was killed. San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said he was shot and killed by an FBI agent.
Gore said the 16-year-old Lakeside teenager appeared to be in good shape and that Hannah's father, Brett Anderson, was expected to travel to Idaho to reunite with his daughter.
"He's elated that we found his daughter alive," added Gore.
DiMaggio is suspected of killing Hannah's mother, 44-year-old Christina Anderson, and her 8-year-old brother Ethan Anderson, both of Lakeside. Their bodies were found on DiMaggio's property east of San Diego where a log-style cabin and detached garage burned to the ground on Sunday.
Investigators say DiMaggio recently purchased camping equipment, which leads them to believe he may have planned the events that unfolded this week.
Following the fire in Boulevard, Amber Alerts were launched in six states - California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Idaho - with millions of residents on the lookout for a blue Nissan Versa with California license plates driven by DiMaggio.
The vehicle was eventually discovered Friday in the very rugged terrain of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, covered in brush.
The Versa was towed Saturday from where it was found about six to eight miles from where a horseback rider reported seeing DiMaggio and Hannah Wednesday.
San Diego detectives and an FBI evidence response team will process the Versa evidence as well as the campsite, which officials called a crime scene.
Hundreds of searchers used helicopters, horses and all-terrain vehicles to scour roughly 300 miles for any sign of the pair.
FBI Special Agent from the Salt Lake City division Mary Rook said special agents with an FBI hostage rescue team saw Hannah and DiMaggio at a campsite north of Morehead Lake.
Shots were fired, and DiMaggio was killed.
Officials could not reveal whether agents fired on the suspect or whether the suspect returned fire, as that portion of the investigation was pending.
“Our team faced a very challenging situation,” said Rook. “Our teams worked tirelessly to find Hannah.”
Rook said with Hannah safe, law enforcement would work with the teenager and her family to get them the resources they need to move forward and recover from this ordeal.
“Hannah is safe, and that was our first priority,” said Valley County Sheriff Patti Bolen, adding that she was proud of the way law enforcement came together to resolve this case and bring an end to the widespread Amber Alert.
Valley County acting Public Information Officer Andrea Dearden said Hannah appeared to have no physical injuries when she was recovered by FBI agents, and said law enforcement was relieved she was found unharmed.
“We wanted it to end safely, we wanted her home,” she added.
Earlier on Saturday, officials in Idaho meticulously searched the rugged, backcountry terrain near Cascade and Morehead Lake for Hannah and DiMaggio.
On Friday, crews searched the area on foot and horseback, given that there was no accessibility in the remote region for vehicles.
By noon on Saturday, investigators with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department had reached DiMaggio's vehicle.
An Idaho explosives team had conducted an initial search of the vehicle overnight. No explosives were found.
Investigators initially believed DiMaggio could be armed with homemade explosives, and may have rigged the vehicle with explosive devices as well.
NBC 7 was the only camera crew to follow a caravan of forensic experts, including an FBI Evidence Response Team into the rugged area. It was located about 40 miles from Cascade - a long road, about a 90 minute drive.
San Diego sheriff’s officials said DiMaggio had an “unusual infatuation” with Hannah, according to NBC News.
Marissa Chavez, 15, a friend of Hannah's, told The Associated Press that a couple of months ago she witnessed DiMaggio tell Hannah he had a crush on her and would date her if they were the same age.
“She was a little creeped out by it. She didn’t want to be alone with him,” Chavez told the AP.