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Police issue Amber Alert in Oregon: Why?

Police are searching for two children missing following their mother's murder earlier this week. Investigators have issued an Amber Alert in attempt to notify the public of their abduction. The suspect's car was spotted on Wednesday near California's Oregon border; its destination is unknown. 

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Drivers pass a display showing an Amber Alert, asking motorists to be on the lookout for a specific vehicle on Tuesday in San Diego. Police issued an alert in Oregon, Wednesday, as a search for two children missing after their mother's murder continued.

Gregory Bull/AP

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Police on Wednesday issued an Amber Alert in Oregon for two children missing since their mother was found dead in a burned-out San Diego home earlier this week, saying that the suspect's vehicle had been spotted heading there from Northern California.

According to the Amber Alert, a statewide child-abduction notice, the blue 2012 Nissan Versa was seen on Wednesday afternoon heading northbound on Highway 395 from Alturas, California, near the Oregon border.

The alert did not say if suspect James Lee DiMaggio, 40, or either of Christina Anderson's children were seen inside.

DiMaggio had been a close family friend of Anderson for two decades and was considered "like an uncle" to her children, said Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio, the homicide detective overseeing the case for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators have no evidence of a precipitating incident or circumstances that might have led to the crimes DiMaggio is suspected of committing, the detective said on Wednesday.

Anderson, 44, and her two children - 16-year-old Hannah and 8-year-old Ethan - were last seen Saturday evening.

The following night, the mother was found slain inside DiMaggio's burned-out home in the desert community of Boulevard, California, east of San Diego, along with a dead child whose remains were burned beyond recognition. Authorities have not said how the mother was killed.

Giannantonio said it might take a day or two longer for medical examiners to positively identify the child and determine the cause of death. But investigators believe the remains, which are consistent with those of an 8-year-old, maybe of Ethan Anderson, he said.

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