Abducted California girl didn't know that her mom, brother were slain: sheriff

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2013 5:45 PM

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A 16-year-old California girl rescued in the Idaho wilderness after her kidnapper was shot to death by the FBI was unaware until after she was freed that her mother and brother were slain a week earlier, the San Diego County sheriff said.

Hannah Anderson, left badly shaken by her ordeal, was informed while being debriefed by authorities after her rescue on Saturday that her mother, Christina Anderson, 44, and her 8-year-old brother, Ethan, had been killed by her kidnapper a week earlier, Sheriff Bill Gore said.

Addressing an afternoon news conference after the teenager had been reunited with family in California, Gore also sought to dispel any notion that she might have willingly accompanied the suspect, James Lee DiMaggio, 40, a longtime family friend of the Andersons.

"It became very clear to us that she is a victim in every sense of the word of this horrific crime," Gore said. "She was under extreme, extreme duress."

Gore also revealed that Hannah had told authorities that DiMaggio was armed with a rifle and fired at least one round before being shot to death by FBI agents in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness on Saturday.

The bodies of the teen's mother and younger sibling were found August 4 in the burned-out ruins of DiMaggio's house in the rural community of Boulevard, California, about 45 miles east of San Diego.

(Reporting by Marty Graham; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Steve Gorman and Lisa Shumaker)