By Peninsula Daily News staff
and The Associated Press
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A California Amber Alert was expanded to Washington, Oregon and Nevada as authorities search for James Lee DiMaggio, 44, who is believed to have kidnapped 16-year-old Hannah Anderson.
DiMaggio was believed to be driving a blue 2013 Nissan Versa with California plate 6WCU986, although a spokeswoman with the San Diego County Sheriff’s office, told CNN late Thursday that investigators think
DiMaggio may have abandoned the car.
Driving on 101?
Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesperson, said a driver contacted the agency’s Bremerton office to report seeing a blue Nissan hatchback with a man driving and a woman passenger in the back near the Jefferson-Clallam county line.
The caller said the car appeared to have California plates and was heading west toward Sequim and Port Angeles at 7:45 a.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 101.
Winger says a trooper checked the area and was unable to locate a car of that description.
“It’s pretty much unconfirmed at this point,” Winger said. “It was just a motorist that thought they saw a vehicle similar to that.”
A second report of a blue Nissan compact car was made at about 2 p.m. Thursday, Winger said.
That report said that the car was driving west on U.S. Highway 101 near Lake Crescent, Winger said, adding that there was no information given on the car’s license plate or a description of the driver or passengers.
Winger said no trooper was available to check on this report, based on the little information provided.
“It was unsubstantiated too, at this point,” Winger said.
Anyone who sees DiMaggio or the car is asked to call 9-1-1.
May have explosives
Jan Caldwell, a spokeswoman with the San Diego Sheriff’s Office, told CNN that DiMaggio may be armed with improvised explosives or may have rigged his car with them.
'“Working on the theory that he abandoned the car, we think there is a possibility that the car might be rigged,” Caldwell told CNN.
“So we want to put out there for civilian safety, for officer safety, if you see the car, do not approach it but call law enforcement.”
DiMaggio is also wanted in the death of Christina Anderson, Hannah’s mother, and the possible death or abduction of her 8-year old son Ethan.
On Sunday night, authorities found the body of Christina Anderson near a dead dog when they extinguished flames at DiMaggio’s rural home.
A child’s body was found later as they sifted through rubble in Boulevard, a remote hamlet 65 miles east of San Diego on the U.S.-Mexico border.
An Amber Alert has been in effect in California since the abduction.
Police say they have had unconfirmed sightings of DiMaggio in northern California and southern Oregon and believe DiMaggio may be trying to head to Canada.
DiMaggio’s sister, Lora Robinson, told the U-T San Diego newspaper that the allegations against her brother were “completely out of character.”
She said he spent four years in the Navy, left military service to care for her after their mother died of cancer and volunteered rescuing animals.
“He is the kindest person in the world,” Robinson said.
She told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she believed her brother was also a victim of foul play, along with the Andersons.
“He tried to take care of those kids, and he took care of them as if they were his own,” Robinson said.