Hannah Anderson didn’t know her mother and brother were already dead until she was rescued on Saturday afternoon, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said Monday, according to CBS affiliate KFMB. Both of her family members were found dead in kidnapper James DiMaggio’s burning house in California near the Mexican border.
Their charred bodies were found in the house, which was still ablaze, on Aug. 4. That's when the Amber Alert was issued for Hannah. Tips first pointed authorities to Oregon, saying Hannah had been taken there, and then ultimately in Idaho after it was revealed DiMaggio and the teen had been spotted.
DiMaggio was close to the Anderson family, describe as her father Brett's best friend, and it’s not certain why he held Hannah, 16, against her will. Apparently he had an “unusual infatuation” with the girl, but her father said he never observed any untoward type of behavior between the two.
According to Gore, the 40-year-old DiMaggio fired off a shot at an FBI agent before being killed by authorities. Hannah was then reunited with her father and a pet grey cat, but she soon found out that her mother Christina Anderson, 44, and little brother Ethan, 8, were no longer living.
Hannah was discovered by four Idaho residents, Christa and Mark John, and Mike Young and his wife, who were riding horseback. They felt something was odd and then later put everything together when they got home and saw Hannah’s picture on the television as the subject of an Amber Alert. Young added when he asked DiMaggio where he was going he said the Salmon River, but apparently he was heading in the wrong direction and it just didn't sit right with the Idaho resident.
"When they showed up to the lake it was like a square peg in a round hole - he didn't fit. He might have been an outdoorsman in California but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho ... Red flags kind of went up," John said.
Hannah was rescued physically unharmed but she was “under extreme duress” throughout the ordeal, the sheriff said. Gore said she "was a victim in this case. She was not a willing participant,” according to USA Today.
"The healing process will be slow,'' her father added. "She's been through a terrific, horrendous ordeal.''
Hannah had been missing since Aug. 3.