A group of horseback riders who helped lead authorities to a California man and the 16-year-old girl he allegedly abducted said the two were out of place in the Idaho wilderness, and they were troubled by the teen's behavior.
Hannah Anderson was rescued Saturday after an FBI agent shot and killed James Lee DiMaggio, 40, near a remote Idaho campsite after a massive search for the pair this weekend.
Sheriff Bill Gore in San Diego County, Calif., said DiMaggio was killed by an FBI agent at 4:22 p.m. PT.
Law enforcement officials praised the four riders who called in the tip after seeing Anderson and DiMaggio in the woods on Wednesday, and then making the connection later when they saw a report about the Amber alert that had been issued for the girl.
Mark John, 71, a former sheriff's deputy from Gem County, said that when they saw the pair Wednesday in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the largest roadless area in the lower 48 states, the man and girl did not act like most people do in that area when they meet others, and they did not seem prepared.
"In the back country in Idaho, you run across somebody back there hiking, they're usually quite friendly and they exchange pleasantries and they exchange knowledge about where they've been, what they've done, where they were going," he said. "These people did not want to talk to us whatsoever."
Anderson "kind of had a scared look on her face when I first come up the trail," said Mike Young, one of the riders. "We didn't know if it was from the horses or what, but then when I turned and talked to him a little bit I just had a gut feeling."
Christa John, another member of the group, said the two looked like they could be father and daughter where he dragged her along on a hike she was not happy about.
"You know there was no immediate, that we said oh boy we've got to rescue her," she said. "There was nothing like that. It was unusual, it was strange but it was explainable."
When the riders asked the two where they were going, they said Salmon River, but they were headed in the opposite direction.
"They were just like a just a square peg going into a round hole," Young said. "They didn't fit. He may have been an outdoors man in California but he was not an outdoors man in Idaho and he didn't fit."
A California teen's family celebrated her safe return this morning after authorities shot and killed her apparent abductor, who was also suspected of murdering her mother and brother.
Anderson was located and "appears well," Gore told reporters Saturday evening. Authorities said she was being checked out at an Idaho hospital.
DiMaggio was also suspected of killing Hannah's mother, Christina Anderson, and her brother, Ethan, after setting his house on fire.
Hannah's great-aunt Jennifer Willis said she can hardly wait to see her back in California
"We're waiting, waiting for Hannah to come home," Willis said.
Anderson's father, Brett Anderson, planned to be reunited with Hannah today, Gore said Saturday.
"Obviously, he (Brett Anderson) is elated that we found his daughter alive," Gore said.
The search spanned three states and thousands of miles. The suspect left with the girl last Sunday after her mother and brother were found slain at the girl's house in California.
The pair was located Saturday near Morehead Lake, in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, which sprawls across central Idaho and reaching north to the Montana border, near the town of Cascade.
About 150 FBI agents converged on the region Saturday morning, joining roughly 100 law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshal's Service, Idaho State Police, Valley and Ada County sheriff's offices, the San Diego Sheriff's Department and other agencies, The Associated Press reported.
After the riders tipped off authhorities that the suspect might be in the remote area, located about 70 miles from Boise, DiMaggio's car was found covered in brush near Cascade on Friday, Gore said.
The blue Nissan Versa was found without license plates, but authorities were able to determine that the vehicle belonged to DiMaggio through its identification number, Gore said.
While police believed DiMaggio might have been armed with explosives and could have potentially use them to rig his vehicle or hideout, the Boise Police bomb squad did not find any explosive devices inside or near the car during their initial search Friday afternoon, Ada County Sheriff's spokesman Patrick Orr said.
Body of Ethan Anderson Identified
On Friday, the body of a child found in the Southern California home of murder and kidnapping suspect DiMaggio was positively identified as 8-year-old Ethan Anderson, who was previously thought to have been abducted, the San Diego County Sheriff's department said.
The boy's body was found after fire officials were called to put out a blaze at DiMaggio's home in Boulevard, Calif., and its detached garage at around 8 p.m. Aug. 4.
Inside one of the burned buildings, they found the body of the boy's mother, Christina Anderson, 44, police said.
Investigators found the badly burned body of a child while searching the scorched buildings, according to the sheriff's department, but officials did not confirm the body was Ethan until Friday night.
Authorities were able to identify the body after performing DNA analysis extracted through his bone marrow.
DiMaggio and Christina Anderson "were in a close platonic relationship," according to the sheriff's department, and officials said DiMaggio might have had an "unusual infatuation" with the teenage daughter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.Also Read