Hannah Anderson friend: Teen is ‘acting strong for everyone’
As Hannah Anderson prepares to bury her mother and brother this week, her friends say there are signs the 16-year-old is struggling with the trauma of her six-day ordeal.
In an interview with CNN over the weekend, friend Alyssa Haugum said Hannah – who authorities say wasn’t aware that her mother and younger brother had been killed until after her daring rescue in the Idaho wilderness – is being outwardly strong, but hints of deeper turmoil have emerged.
“She’s acting strong for everyone and I think that’s more of just for her appearance, but I can tell that there’s something inside of her that’s upset,” Alyssa said. “Like when we’re all, like, having a good time and once everyone stops laughing she gets kind of this serious look on her face.”
The multistate search for the San Diego County teen began Aug. 4, when the bodies of Christina Anderson and 8-year-old Ethan -- Hannah’s mother and brother -- were found in the burning home of her alleged abductor, James Lee DiMaggio.
Hannah was rescued six days later, in a remote stretch of Idaho backcountry about 75 miles north of Boise, after DiMaggio was shot dead by FBI agents.
Authorities have said repeatedly that Hannah was abducted “under duress” and that she was a victim “in every sense of the word.”
Search warrants released last week revealed that letters from Hannah were among the items seized from DiMaggio’s home, and investigators said the two had “called each other approximately 13 times” before their cellphones were shut off about 4 p.m. Aug. 4.
The documents did not specify during what time period the calls occurred. They also did not detail the contents of the letters or a handwritten note that was seized from DiMaggio’s property.
Hannah has so far declined media interviews, although statements from her friends and father, Brett Anderson, have provided some insight into the teen’s life since she was rescued.
She and her father attended a fundraiser last week held on her behalf at a Lakeside restaurant. She did not speak to reporters as she walked inside, but her father said she “sends her love” and was “doing good day by day.”
On Sunday, Stacy Hess, a spokeswoman for the family, released a statement to the media asking for privacy as they prepare to lay Christina and Ethan Anderson to rest. A statement regarding the memorial service would be released sometime Monday, Hess added.
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