Hannah Anderson has revealed the details of her kidnapping, and her relationship with her captor. On August 3, James Lee DiMaggio kidnapped Anderson, sparking a manhunt that spanned several states. The 16-year-old was found alive 10 days later. Her captor was killed during her rescue.
Before DiMaggio fled with the teen, he reportedly murdered her mother Christina and brother Ethan. Their remains were found inside his home, which he burned to the ground.
In the process of investigation, authorities discovered that Anderson and DiMaggio had become close friends. As reported by CNN, the teen was having trouble dealing with her parents’ divorce. She eventually turned to DiMaggio for support:
“I wouldn’t have really anyone to talk about it with… instead of talking face to face if we didn’t have time… we’d just write letters back and forth, talking about, like, the situation and how to get through it.”
Hannah Anderson said her relationship with DiMaggio changed prior to the kidnapping. As reported by NY Daily News, the 40-year-old man revealed his true feelings after she introduced him to her boyfriend.
He explained that she was welcome to invite her friends to his home. However, he did not want to watch her “kissing [her] friends or anything like that” because he had “a crush” on her. She said the conversation made her uncomfortable.
On the day of the kidnapping, Dimaggio picked Anderson up after high school cheerleading practice, he took her directly to his home.
He reportedly restrained her in handcuffs and zip ties, explaining that her mother and brother were hidden somewhere in the home. He then suggested a game of Russian roulette.
When he held the gun to Anderson’s head, she begged him to stop. DiMaggio put the gun down.
Shortly after the bizarre incident, the teen says she was heavily sedated. When she woke, she and her captor were in Idaho.
Anderson is sharing her story as she has received stark criticism for her relationship with DiMaggio. Critics have suggested that the teen had at least some knowledge of plans to kill her mother and brother. They cite the seemingly unusual relationship between the teen and a 40-year-old man.
Hannah Anderson is still struggling to cope with her kidnapping and the loss of the mother and brother. Additionally, she has to cope with the realization that her “second father” was capable of murder.