Addressing some of the scrutiny that has swirled around her case head-on, Hannah Anderson said she was texting -- and not calling -- kidnapper James DiMaggio the day she disappeared because he was supposed to pick her up from cheerleading practice.
Search warrants released last week referred to phone calls and letters between the pair. The documents indicated that the two called each other about 13 times before their phones were shut off, a detail that had raised questions about their relationship.
In an interview with NBC News that aired on the "Today" show Thursday morning, Hannah said the calls were "just texts" to let DiMaggio know where to pick her up after practice.
“The phone calls weren’t phone calls,” she said. “He didn’t know the address or where I was.”
The letters written by Hannah found at DiMaggio's home -- the contents of which authorities have not detailed -- were from a year ago, Hannah said, when she and her mother weren't getting along.
"They weren't anything bad," she said. "They were just to help me through tough times."
The six-day manhunt for Hannah began Aug. 4 after her mother and brother were found dead at DiMaggio's burning property in eastern San Diego County. Authorities believe DiMaggio killed Christina Anderson, 44, and Ethan Anderson, 8, before kidnapping Hannah and taking her to a remote stretch of Idaho wilderness.
Hannah and DiMaggio were spotted in Idaho by a group of horseback riders, who reported seeing the two near Morehead Lake, roughly 75 miles north of Boise. FBI agents raided the camp on Aug. 10. Hannah was rescued unharmed; DiMaggio was shot and killed.
Hannah's behavior in the days following her rescue has fueled public speculation about whether she may have gone willingly with DiMaggio. She has posted on Facebook, Instagram and friends have said she went on ask.fm to answer questions about her ordeal.
"They don't really know the story, so they kind of have their own opinion on what they hear," she said on "Today" of those commenting on her actions.
She defended her social media presence, saying it's part of her healing process.
"It just helps me grieve, like, post pictures to show how I'm feeling," she said. "I'm a teenager. I'm gonna go on it."
In response to the criticism and personal attacks, she said, "I didn't know people could be so cruel."
Twitter: @Sam_SchaeferCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times