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Hunt for Hannah Anderson and James Lee DiMaggio moves to Idaho wilderness

The hunt for teen-ager Hanna Anderson and her suspected abductor, James Lee DiMaggio is focused on one of the roughest, most spectacular wilderness areas in North America.

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An Idaho State trooper stops traffic on a road near Cascade, Idaho. A car matching the description of one driven by kidnapping suspect James DiMaggio was found in a remote, mountainous area near the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/AP

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The hunt for teen-ager Hanna Anderson and her suspected abductor, James Lee DiMaggio, which began in southern California earlier this week, now is focused on a 300 square-mile portion of one of the roughest, most spectacular wilderness areas in North America.

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area in central Idaho, covering more than two million acres, includes more than 200 miles of trails through its steep mountains and deep canyons, crossing wild whitewater rivers that draw kayakers and anglers from around the world.

Wolf packs roam the area, feeding on elk and other prey. Backpackers, rafters, and those on horseback are instructed to “leave no trace” when they visit.

Mr. DiMaggio is suspected in the death of Christina Anderson, the abduction of her 16-year-old daughter Hannah, and the death of her 8-year old son Ethan. Ms. Anderson's body was found in DiMaggio's burning home east of San Diego, near the body of a child identified Friday night as that of Ethan Anderson.

DiMaggio, 40, has been described as a long-time close friend of the Anderson family – “like an uncle” to Hannah and Ethan – who apparently became romantically infatuated with the girl. Another girl described Hannah as “a little creeped out” by DiMaggio’s attention, including his suggestion that they might date if they were the same age.

Responses to “Amber alert” notifications via broadcast media, roadside electronic signs, and automatic cell phone messages tracked DiMaggio’s blue Nissan Versa automobile on a two-lane highway through rural northern California and central Oregon.

The abandoned car – covered with brush and its license plates removed – was found Friday morning about 40 miles east of the tiny town of Cascade, Idaho, parked where the dirt road ends and a trailhead enters the wilderness area.

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