August 20, 2013

Mother of abducted Calif. girl died of head injury

The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — A woman whose body was found near the remains of her 8-year-old son at a family friend's rural house died of a blunt injury to the head, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Christina Anderson, 44, was found dead Aug. 4 when firefighters extinguished flames at the home of James Lee DiMaggio, who is accused of murdering her and her son and kidnapping her 16-year-old daughter. DiMaggio was killed six days later in an FBI shootout in the Idaho wilderness. Hannah Anderson was rescued and returned to California.

The coroner does not elaborate on the nature of Anderson's head injury or the circumstances of her death in a brief posting to its website. The manner of death is listed as homicide.

A search warrant unsealed last week says firefighters found her body near a crowbar and what appeared to be blood next to her head in the garage of DiMaggio's home in Boulevard, about 65 miles east of San Diego on the U.S.-Mexico border. DiMaggio is believed to have shot and killed their family dog, found under a sleeping bag in the garage with blood close to its head.

Investigators found 8-year-old Ethan Anderson's body as they sifted through rubble. Authorities identified his remains several days later by extracting DNA from his bone marrow.

The coroner's office has not said how the 8-year-old died.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday for the mother and son in Santee, an east San Diego suburb.

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