LAKESIDE, Calif. (AP) — Amber Alerts expanded to Oregon and Washington as authorities searched for a Southern California man suspected of abducting a 16-year-old girl and wanted in the death of the girl's mother and possibly her 8-year-old brother.
Oregon state police said there was a possible sighting of James Lee DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa in northeast California near Alturas on Wednesday, followed by another about 50 miles along the same highway near Lakeview, in south-central Oregon.
Investigators have said DiMaggio may be headed to Texas or Canada with 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and possibly her 8-year-old brother Ethan, though investigators said a charred body discovered along with the mother could be the boy.
Also Wednesday, a friend of Hannah Anderson said DiMaggio told Hannah he had a crush on her and would date her if they were the same age.
DiMaggio explained that he didn't want the girls to think he was weird in an effort to defend himself after noticing they exchanged glances, 15-year-old Marissa Chavez said. She said he spoke while driving them home from a high school gymnastics meet a couple months ago.
Hannah Anderson asked Chavez to join her from then on whenever DiMaggio, 40, drove her to meets.
"She was a little creeped out by it. She didn't want to be alone with him," Chavez said.
DiMaggio was like an uncle to Hannah and 8-year-old Ethan. He was very close with their parents for years.
On Sunday night, authorities found the body of 42-year-old Christina Anderson when they extinguished flames at DiMaggio's rural home. A child's body was found as they sifted through rubble in Boulevard, a tiny town 65 miles east of San Diego on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The child's body has not been identified but it may be Ethan, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said late Tuesday.
Christina Anderson's father, Christopher Saincome, said Wednesday that his daughter visited DiMaggio's home last weekend to say goodbye before he moved to Texas. DiMaggio, who works as a telecommunications technician at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, was a regular presence at the Anderson family apartment in Lakeside, a suburb of 54,000 people.
"He must have had this planned," Saincome said.
Saincome said nothing seemed amiss when he called his daughter at work Friday to let her know she didn't call on his birthday. Anderson, a medical assistant, said she would call back that night but never did.
Investigators had no evidence that the relationship between DiMaggio and the missing girl was more than friendly.
"We're not looking into that directly at this point," Giannantonio said.
DiMaggio is wanted on suspicion of murder and arson in a search that began in Southern California and spread to Mexico and neighboring states.
DiMaggio's sister, Lora Robinson, told U-T San Diego that the allegations against her brother were "completely out of character." She said he spent four years in the Navy, left the 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.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Protesters angered by the acquittal of George Zimmerman held largely peaceful demonstrations in three California cities, but broke windows and started small street fires in Oakland, according to police.
The gatherings Saturday night ranged from a few dozen to a few hundred people turning out to protest the verdict in the Florida courtroom over the death of Trayvon Martin, and police said some of the demonstrations continued into the early hours Sunday.
The Oakland police dispatch office said about 100 people protested and police were forced to deal with acts of vandalism, mainly breaking windows on businesses and starting small fires in the streets. As the protest wound down with the crowd dispersing, the office said that as of 2 a.m. PDT it had no word of any arrests.
Local media reports said some Oakland marchers vandalized a police squad car and police formed a line to block the protesters' path.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - The U.S. Air Force has launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile from a California base, a month after the test flight was postponed because of tensions with North Korea.
Vandenberg Air Force Base says the Minuteman 3 lifted off at 6:27 a.m. PDT Wednesday. It later splashed down thousands of miles away in the Pacific.
It's the first Minuteman test-launch of the year. Several Minutemans are launched each year at from Vandenberg to determine the weapon system's accuracy and reliability.
Officials say the original mid-April flight plan was delayed to avoid it being misconstrued by North Korea during a time of heightened tensions. It was rescheduled for Tuesday morning but was pushed back a day due to a problem with range safety instruments.
A 12-year-old chess prodigy from California will make his next competitive move in St. Louis next month.
Tournament organizers say Samuel Sevian, of Santa Clara, is the youngest person ever to compete in the U.S. Championship to be held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
For a fifth year the Club is playing host to the U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women's Championship from May 3rd to 13th.
Tournament organizers say Samuel Sevian was just nine-years-old when he was named a "National Master." At the time, it made him the youngest person to achieve that title in U.S. chess history.
Los Angeles police spokesman Gus Villanueva says the caller reported a sighting of 33 year old Christopher Dorner. Police were sent to the Northridge area but Villanueva later said a search of the Lowe's Home Improvement store yielded no evidence that Dorner was there or had been there.
News helicopters earlier showed police helping customers and employees leave the store. A command post was established nearby.
The search since Thursday evening had focused on mountains 80 miles east of Los Angeles where Dorner's burned truck was found. But authorities have found no recent signs of Dorner.
LA officials announced a $1 million reward earlier Sunday for information leading to Dorner's arrest.