Hannah Anderson’s kidnapper may have been her father, his family says

Ethan and Hannah Anderson are pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
(San Diego County Sheriff’s Department/Handout/Reuters)

The family of James Lee DiMaggio is asking for a paternity test to see if he is the biological father of his kidnapping victim, Hannah Anderson, and her little brother, whom he allegedly killed.

DiMaggio abducted 16-year-old Hannah Anderson this month after authorities say he killed her 8-year-old brother, Ethan, and her mother, Christina Anderson, in his Boulevard home in San Diego County.

The kidnapping triggered a multistate Amber Alert that led to DiMaggio’s killing in the remote Idaho wilderness by federal agents. Hannah was rescued after the shootout.


On Monday, DiMaggio family spokesman Andrew Spanswick revealed DiMaggio left $112,000 in life insurance to Hannah’s grandmother.

Now, Spanswick told KGTV in San Diego, the family wants to learn whether DiMaggio was the children’s biological father.

“We are going to be requesting from the Anderson family that we try to get DNA samples from Hannah. And if they have anything left from Ethan — that we get a DNA sample,” Spanswick said. “There has been a lot of rumors that Jim might be the father of either or both children.”

DiMaggio’s sister made the request, KGTV reported.

The latest twist comes as the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department investigation into the case is winding down.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell told The Times on Tuesday that detectives are working to “close the book” on the case.

“Our investigation is winding down, and we hope that the attention does as well,” Caldwell said. “Because we hope that Hannah and her family can begin this arduous process of grieving and learning how to deal with the new normal that they have.”

Coroner’s officials confirmed Monday that Hannah’s mother died of blunt force injury to the head, but said it was unknown when her fatal injuries occurred. Details of Ethan’s death have not been released.

Search warrants released last week say the two were “tortured and killed” but don’t elaborate.

Their bodies were discovered on DiMaggio’s property, which authorities said caught fire nearly 20 hours after DiMaggio fled with Hannah.

Caldwell said DiMaggio and the 16-year-old were photographed in his Nissan Versa at a westbound Old Highway 8 checkpoint at 12:10 a.m. on Aug 4.

The fire at DiMaggio’s property in Boulevard—which triggered the multistate search for Hannah—was reported about 8 p.m. that day.

“Because the fire erupted several hours after, we knew he had a good head start on us and our work was cut out for us,” Caldwell said.

San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore previously said authorities believe DiMaggio planned his actions, and search warrants revealed incendiary devices and arson wire were found on his property.


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