Hannah Anderson case: Mother died of blunt force injury to head

Anderson and Saincome families
Members of the extended Anderson and Saincome families, with James Lee DiMaggio, right, are seen in this June 2011 photo provided by Andrea Saincome. Seated from left are Christina Anderson, Christopher Saincome, Christina’s sisters Samantha Saincome and Andrea Saincome, their niece Hannah Anderson (reclining), Alexi (last name unavailable, friend of Hannah’s), and DiMaggio. On the floor are Ethan Anderson, left, and Andrea’s infant child.
(Andrea Saincome)

Christina Anderson -- whose body was found Aug. 4 in the burning home of the man suspected of kidnapping her 16-year-old daughter, Hannah -- died of a blunt force injury to the head, according to autopsy results released Monday.

The body of Anderson, 44, was found in a standalone garage, with blood near her head and a crowbar nearby, according to search warrants released last week. The body of her 8-year-old son, Ethan, was later found burned in the home. Both had been “tortured and killed,” the documents noted.

The family’s “medium brown dog” was also found shot to death under a sleeping bag, the warrants said.

Anderson was declared dead shortly before 8:30 p.m., although the exact time she was killed was unknown, Fox 5 in San Diego reported.


Authorities said they believe that Hannah’s abductor, longtime family friend James Lee DiMaggio, set up a trap by asking the family to come to his home so he could say goodbye before moving to Texas.

Hannah was rescued six days later in the Idaho wilderness after FBI agents shot and killed DiMaggio. The search for the two set off a multi-state Amber Alert before their campsite was spotted from the air Aug. 10.

DiMaggio, who authorities said fired at least once at the agents before he was killed, was shot at least five times in the head and torso, the Valley County, Idaho, coroner said.

Authorities say Hannah was unaware of what happened to her mother and brother until after she was rescued.


Officials have said little about their ongoing investigation into the ordeal, except to reiterate that Hannah was a victim “in every sense of the word.” But search warrants released last week provided some insight into the investigation, including communication between Hannah and DiMaggio.

Letters from Hannah were among the items seized from his home, the documents showed, and investigators said the teen and DiMaggio “called each other approximately 13 times” before their cellphones were shut off about 4 p.m. Aug. 4.

Investigators believe the fires on the DiMaggio property were set separately, possibly with timing devices and accelerant, according to the warrants. Incendiary devices and “arson wire” were later found on the property.

Also on Monday, a spokesman for DiMaggio’s family confirmed that the 40-year-old known to the Andersons as “Uncle Jim” had left his $112,000 life insurance policy to Hannah’s grandmother, a decision that was made in 2011.


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