California News

Amber Alert case: Hannah Anderson's father speaks out

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rescued San Diego teen Hannah Anderson is back in her hometown and recovering privately. Her father spoke out Monday for the first time since her rescue.

"As for my daughter, the healing process will be slow. She has been through a tremendous, horrific ordeal," said Brett Anderson at an afternoon news conference.

The two were reunited Sunday after she witnessed her captor, James DiMaggio, get shot and killed by authorities in the Idaho wilderness.

"I am very proud of her and I love her very much. She is surrounded by the love of her family, friends and community," Brett Anderson said.

Authorities say DiMaggio was given a chance to surrender, but he was the aggressor.

"He did have a rifle, and he fired at least one shot. As far as we know, DiMaggio did fire his weapon first," said Gore.

Police say while being held captive, Hannah didn't know that her mother, Christina, and brother, Ethan, had allegedly been murdered by DiMaggio before being burned inside his home last Sunday.

"I can't make it any clearer: She was a victim in this case. She was not a willing participant," said San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore. "She was in extreme duress from the time she left Boulevard to the time she was recovered in Lake Morehead, Idaho."

Authorities on Friday found DiMaggio's vehicle in Idaho, covered in brush.

The key tip came from two couples on horseback that spotted the two deep in the Idaho wilderness. They say Hannah was in pajama bottoms holding a cat.

"I seen a lot of fear in her eyes, and I didn't like what I seen in his eyes," said Mark Young, one of the horseback riders.

The horseback riders contacted authorities after seeing an Amber Alert notice on TV news. Brett Anderson thanked them.

"I would also like to thank Mary and Mike Young, Mark and Christa John, for without you, who knows how long this would have gone on. My family and I are eternally grateful," he said.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported in 1989 James DiMaggio Sr. was arrested for breaking into a home and holding a 16-year-old girl at gunpoint. That girl, who was the same age as Hannah, escaped through a bathroom window.

Friends say DiMaggio's father committed suicide Aug. 10, 1998, the same day FBI agents would shoot and kill his son 15 years later.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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kidnap, san diego, homicide investigation, california news, elex michaelson
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