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FBI agents kill teen girl abductor after manhunt

AFP-JIJI

FBI agents on Saturday tracked down and killed a man suspected of kidnapping a teenage girl in California and fleeing with her into the Idaho wilderness.

After officials spotted a campsite in the remote Idaho backwoods from the air, an FBI tactical team went in on the ground, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore told a press conference.

James Lee DiMaggio, 40, was shot and killed by an FBI agent, Gore said.

“Obviously, we would have liked Mr. DiMaggio to surrender and face justice in a court of law, but that’s not going to be the case,” Gore said.

The hostage, identified as Hannah Anderson, 16, appeared to be in “pretty good shape” and would be evaluated at a hospital, Gore said.

DiMaggio allegedly killed Hannah’s mother, Christina Anderson, and her eight-year-old brother Ethan. Their bodies were found August 4 in the suspect’s burning home in Boulevard, a small town east of San Diego in southern California.

Law enforcement officials in several states conducted a manhunt, and were finally tipped off when a horseback rider called Thursday to report having spotted a man and a girl at a remote location in central Idaho.

The rider reportedly said it seemed odd that the two were equipped with only light camping gear in such a remote region.

On Friday police found the suspect’s car, without its license plates, hidden under the brush at the end of a trail entering an area of deep canyons and rocky hills known as the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

By Saturday more than 200 personnel — including local police and some 150 Federal Bureau of Investigations agents — had gathered to track down the suspect, said Andrea Dearden, spokeswoman of the local sheriff.

Hannah’s father, Brett Anderson, had earlier described DiMaggio as a close friend of the family.

Brett Anderson was flying to Idaho to reunite with his daughter on Sunday, officials said.

At a later press conference in Idaho, Dearden thanked people involved in the manhunt but had few details on the incident, and could not say whether DiMaggio was armed or fired on the FBI agents.