Hannah Anderson didn’t know mom, brother were killed, sheriff says

<i>This post has been updated. See below for details.</i>

San Diego County teen Hannah Anderson was not aware that her mother and brother had been killed as she was driven across several states and into the Idaho wilderness, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said Monday.

Gore also said that the 16-year-old girl was being held “under duress” by James Lee DiMaggio. Gore’s comments are the first definitive indication that Hannah Anderson did not accompany DiMaggio willingly.

Gore has scheduled a news conference for 2:30 p.m. in San Diego County. The girl’s father, Brett Anderson, and FBI officials are also expected to attend.

[Updated, 10:43 a.m. PDT Aug. 12: In an interview with Fox 5 in San Diego, Gore said Hannah was not aware that her mother and brother had been killed at the time she was recovered by FBI agents in Idaho.


“Our focus now is on trying to get Hannah all the resources, the help she needs to get through this extremely traumatic ordeal she’s been through,” he said.]

PHOTOS: Search for San Diego teen

DiMaggio was shot and killed by FBI agents on Saturday, ending a six-day manhunt that began on Aug. 4 when firefighters responded to DiMaggio’s home in rural San Diego County. Christina Anderson, 44, was found dead in the garage; the burned body of 8-year-old Ethan Anderson was found in the home.

Hannah Anderson could not be found, which set off an Amber Alert that ultimately was activated in five states -- California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Idaho.


A break in the case didn’t come until Thursday, when a group of horseback riders notified authorities that they had spotted Hannah Anderson and DiMaggio deep in the Idaho wilderness the day before.

After the sightings, Idaho authorities began searching the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. On Friday, they found DiMaggio’s blue Nissan Versa hidden in brush with its license plates removed.

The next day, a pair of U.S. marshals in a surveillance plane spotted them at a campsite near Morehead Lake, about 75 miles north of Boise and just a few miles from where they were spotted by the horseback riders. A team was dropped in from a distance to avoid alerting DiMaggio of their presence, and hiked two hours in the steep terrain. 

Gore said DiMaggio fired at least one shot at authorities before he was fatally wounded by an FBI agent.

He was armed with at least one weapon that he was carrying in a shoulder holster, Gore said.

Hannah Anderson was physically unharmed, authorities said.

She has been reunited with her father, Brett Anderson, who told CNN: “I am nervous, excited and saddened for my wife and son and worried what my daughter has been through. It’s now healing time. Keep us in your prayers.”

Jennifer Willis, Hannah’s great-aunt, told ABC she can’t wait to see her. “We’re waiting, waiting for Hannah to come home,” she said.



No arrests yet in string of deadly Pomona shootings

BART strike averted; judge orders 60-day cooling-off period

Hannah Anderson case cracked by ‘one chance in a trillion’ sighting

Get our Essential California newsletter