Valley County Reeling From Deadly End to Manhunt, Rescue


Law enforcement discovered James DiMaggios car hidden under brush in Idahos backcountry.

A good many people see Valley County as a place to escape harsh realities and recreate against one of the most beautiful backdrops in the region. But campers, rafters, boaters and families just looking for a summer respite will find it difficult to forget the events of the past 48 hours.

With a national television audience watching live updates, the multi-agency search for a man wanted in connection with the murder of a mother and her 8-year-old son in California, and the kidnapping of the 16-year-old daughter and sister of the victims, Valley County became the center of attention Aug. 9 and 10. More than 300 local, state and federal law enforcement agents descended on the area to hunt Idaho's backcountry in their search for 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio.

At approximately 5:20 p.m., law enforcement caught up with DiMaggio and the girl in a remote campsite near Morehead Lake. Though few details have been released, officials confirmed that an FBI agent shot and killed DiMaggio at the scene. The girl was rescued and immediately airlifted to a local hospital.

"We will make sure she gets as much care as possible, physically and emotionally," said Ada County Sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Dearden.

A separate investigative team from the FBI was still on the scene in Valley County Sunday to perform a review of the shooting incident. Until that investigation is complete, officials said they would not be sharing any further details.

Meanwhile the father of the girl, who is still mourning the loss of his wife and son in the San Diego County, Calif., murders, is in Idaho today to be reunited with his daughter.

"We wanted it to end safely and to bring Hannah home," said Dearden. "That's exactly what happened."

By late Saturday night, most of the law enforcement agents had left the area.