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Sheriff: Suspect in Idaho exchanged gunfire with FBI

  • This photo provided by the San Diego Sheriff's Department shows Hannah Anderson, 16. (AP Photo/San Diego Sheriff's Department, File)

SAN DIEGO — A close family friend suspected of abducting a 16-year old girl after killing her mother and younger brother fired at least one shot at FBI rescuers before agents killed him deep in the Idaho wilderness, authorities said Monday.

Hannah Anderson didn't know her mother and brother were dead until she was rescued, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said Monday.

"It was clear from the information that we received that she was under extreme duress," Gore told KSWB-TV, the Fox affiliate in San Diego. "She was taken out of the county, out of the state, clearly against her will."

California Teen Rescued In Idaho


James Lee DiMaggio, 40, fired at least one shot from "a shoulder weapon" Saturday during the rescue, Gore said. "The first rule is to try to rescue the hostage here and hopefully take the subject alive. That did not happen in this case."

Hannah's father, Brett Anderson, reunited with his daughter Sunday at an undisclosed hospital in Boise, where she was flown hours after her rescue from a camp near an alpine lake. Hannah also rejoined her gray cat, which she had with her in the wilderness.

Hannah's father was scheduled to speak Monday at a news conference in San Diego with Gore and the head of the FBI's San Diego office. Jan Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, declined to answer questions about the rescue or investigation.

The massive search spanning much of the Western United States and parts of Canada and Mexico probably would have taken longer if not for a sharp-eyed retired sheriff and three other horseback riders in the rugged backcountry hadn't seen the pair Wednesday.

Mark John, who retired as a Gem County sheriff in 1996, shared his suspicions with the Idaho State Police after encountering DiMaggio and the girl on the trail. That enabled investigators to focus efforts on a specific portion of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, a 3,600-square-mile roadless preserve in the heart of Idaho.

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