Hannah Anderson case: Search warrants reveal new details

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The family of James Lee DiMaggio struggled to come to grips with the latest revelations included in a series of search warrants released this week as part of the investigation into the abduction of San Diego County teen Hannah Anderson the murder of her mother and younger brother.

Letters from 16-year-old Hannah were among the items seized from DiMaggio’s San Diego property, as were handcuff boxes, used condoms and incendiary devices, according to the warrants.

Authorities did not detail what the letters -- or another handwritten note -- said.

Empty boxes of camping gear and ammunition, a Yosemite camping printout, “arson wire,” model rocket containers and cut electrical cords were also recovered.


The documents released provided a glimpse into the nearly weeklong search for the 16-year-old Anderson and the slaying of her mother and brother, who were found dead Aug. 4 at DiMaggio’s burning property.

Authorities allege DiMaggio -- so close a friend to the Anderson family that the children called him Uncle Jim --“tortured and killed” Hannah’s mother and brother before kidnapping the teen, eventually taking her to a remote stretch of Idaho back country.

Other warrants showed an unknown person picked Hannah up from cheerleading practice the afternoon of Aug. 4. Phone records showed that prior to her phone and DiMaggio’s phones being shut off, the pair called each other about 13 times, but authorities did not specify over what time period those calls took place.

But Andrew Spanswick, a spokesman for DiMaggio’s family, told The Times this week that the narrative of a man bent on death and destruction was a far cry from the person described by his sister in an interview with KGTV-TV (Channel 10) as the “kindest, sweetest soul that you could eve imagine meeting.”

“They were great friends, they’ve known each other for years,” Robinson told the San Diego ABC affiliate. “My children played with Hannah when she was little … they had a lot of good times together.

“He took care of them as if they were his own.”

In seclusion, DiMaggio’s family is now trying to come to terms with allegations that the 40-year-old of kidnapping Hannah, but also the brutal murders of her mother, Christina Anderson, and 8-year-old brother, Ethan.


Spanswick said that while DiMaggio’s family isn’t trying to excuse what happened, it’s important to them to try to find some sort of explanation to achieve a sense of closure.

“Condemning doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still look for an explanation,” he said.


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