Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Kidnap Victim Hannah Anderson Didn't Know Her Mother And Brother Were Dead

ethan-hannah-anderson.jpg
Hannah Anderson did not learn that her 8-year-old brother Ethan (left) had been killed until after her rescue. (Photo courtesy of CHP)
Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Kidnapped San Diego teen Hannah Anderson did not learn that her mother and brother had been killed until after her rescue.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore told San Diego's Fox 5 today that Hannah Anderson was only informed of the murders of Christina Anderson, 44, and Ethan Anderson, 8, after she was rescued.

He also clarified that Anderson did not willingly accompany her kidnapper, longtime family friend James DiMaggio, to Idaho. "It is clear from the information that we've received, that she was under extreme duress. She was taken out of the county, out of the state, clearly against her will."

DiMaggio was shot and killed by FBI agents in the Idaho wilderness after the pair were spotted by horseback riders—one of whom was a retired sheriff—who sensed something was off. The girl had "fear in her eyes," one of the eyewitnesses told ABC News.

Support for LAist comes from

Another thing the locals found odd: Why anyone would take their housecat camping with them. Former Gem County Sheriff Mark John, who along with his wife Christa and ranchers Mike and Mary Young, encountered the pair, told the Idaho Statesman, "The only reason you bring a cat out there is to attract a mountain lion or a bear."

John and the others alerted authorities and federal agents quickly swarmed the area.

Hannah Anderson said that that DiMaggio was armed and he did fire at least once before being killed by federal agents. "We have learned from debriefing and interviewing Hannah up in Idaho that DiMaggio did have a shoulder weapon and fired at least one shot," Gore said. The rescue team had hoped to capture DiMaggio alive and ask him about the two bodies found in his home in San Diego.

"The kidnapper, the murderer is dead. Our focus now is getting Hannah all the resources, the help she needs to get through this extremely traumatic ordeal that she's been through," Gore said. "Plus, let's not lose sight of the fact that she's lost her mother and her brother."

Gore has scheduled a news conference for 2:30 p.m. in San Diego County. The girl's father, Brett Anderson, and FBI officials are also expected to attend, the told CNN: "I am nervous, excited and saddened for my wife and son and worried what my daughter has been through. It's now healing time. Keep us in your prayers."

Related:
Hannah Anderson's Family Responds To Her Rescue
California Kidnapper Killed In Idaho, His 16-Year-Old Victim Is Safe