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Startling Statewide Amber Alert Issued for Boy, 8; Girl, 16

The suspect is believed to be driving a blue Nissan Versa with CA license plate No. 6WCU986. Did the automatic mobile phone alert startle you while you were sleeping?

James Lee Dimaggio is the suspect.
James Lee Dimaggio is the suspect.
This article was originally posted at 10 a.m.

Written by Laura Dudnick and Jessica Mullins

An Amber Alert has been issued for a 16-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy who were abducted out of San Diego County on Saturday evening.

Hannah Anderson and Ethan Anderson were abducted from the city of Boulevard at about 5 p.m. Saturday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The California Highway Patrol tweeted that the suspect is believed to be traveling to either Texas or Canada.

An Amber Alert was issued for the pair late Monday night and pushed through many phones, including the iPhone 4S and 5. Several Marin residents told us on Facebook they received the late night Amber Alert -- which made an alarm sound and startled many.

“I was scared out of my mind. I was sleeping when it came on,” Twitter user Amir Malekpour tweeted to the San Anselmo – Fairfax Patch.

The Marin California Highway Patrol Twitter account told a Twitter user that Monday night’s Amber Alert was the first time one was pushed to smartphones in the Bay Area.

“It is important to get info out. I can be turned off on your phone. On iPhone it’s under settings then notifications,” Marin CHP officials wrote.

FEMA recently expanded the emergency alert system, according to the associated press.

Hannah Anderson is white, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 115 pounds; she has blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a navel ring, nose stud and pierced ears.

Ethan Anderson is white, 4 feet 11 inches tall and 65 pounds; he has sandy blonde hair.

The suspect is James Lee Dimaggio, a 40-year-old white man. He's 5 feet 9 inches, weighs 150 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

DiMaggio is accused of killing the children’s mother, Christina Anderson, who was found dead in the burning rubble of a home in Boulevard, California along with the body of an unidentified child, according to the Los Angeles Times. Boulevard is a rural community south of San Diego.

Dimaggio was last seen driving a blue Nissan Versa 4-door with a CA license plate No. 6WCU986.

More information about the abduction can be found at SFGate.com.

IF SEEN CONTACT SAN DIEGO SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT AT (858) 565-5200.


DBS August 06, 2013 at 02:35 PM
I got that alert but had no idea where it was coming from since I'd never heard that sound before. So it worried me till I realized what it was. For now I'm going to leave it activated because who knows what lives it might save. I might see if I can change it to a text alert sound if possible, so I'll know what it is if they activate it again.
Jessica Mullins (Editor) August 06, 2013 at 02:46 PM
I had the same experience! We checked the entire house for the alarm sound until we realized it was coming from my phone.
John Ferguson August 06, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Alert came through my weather application - with no detail and no reference to the actual abduction. Worse than useless, IMO. Hope they find the kids safe..
Dotty LeMieux August 06, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Why do these things show up on people's phones? Do they need to have an app, or do they just come through? That's just wrong. What else is beamed into the ether?
Ella August 06, 2013 at 06:42 PM
It did startle me, since I've never gotten one of these alerts before and the noise was surprising. That said, I think this is a great way to get critical information out to a ton of people quickly. It could save lives. I won't be disabling it. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out where to go on my phone to read more. The headline disappeared as soon as I swiped my phone on. I had to go to Facebook, where people were linking the story. I hope those poor kids are okay.
Cindi Bunten August 06, 2013 at 07:49 PM
The Amber Alert would be more effective with a simple text without the alarming noise. This was for a situation that happened over 500 miles away from us. Many people will simply turn the notification off because of the noise and may miss one that is closer to home.
Jessica Mullins (Editor) August 06, 2013 at 08:16 PM
I've heard from a friend in Oregon who also received the Amber Alert, so I guess it's more than just "statewide."
Rebecca Lack August 07, 2013 at 01:40 PM
I have an Galaxy S3 and I actually volunteered to for the Amber Alert texts a few years ago. For some reason they stopped that program for the volunteer texting and I never got the text. I actually knew nothing about the abduction until I was driving to work and saw the sign on 101 in Novato.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr August 08, 2013 at 12:35 PM
It is only politically correct to mention the suspect's race when he is Caucasian.

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