Published August 16, 2013
The father of Hannah Anderson, the California teen kidnapped by a family friend who also allegedly tortured and killed her mother and brother, said Thursday she was “doing good day by day.”
Brett Anderson told media outside a fundraiser in the San Diego suburb of Lakeside that Hannah was “with her family and some friends and just happy to be here.”
“We’ll just keep moving forward,” he added.
Search warrants unsealed Wednesday said James DiMaggio tortured and killed Hannah’s mother, Tina, and brother, Ethan, before setting his home on fire.
The warrants do not describe the torture but say firefighters found the mother's body in DiMaggio's garage near a crowbar and what appeared to be blood next to her head. A dead dog was found under a sleeping bag in the garage with blood near its head.
Investigators found the child's body as they sifted through rubble.
DiMaggio and 16-year-old Hannah exchanged about 13 calls before she was picked up from cheerleading practice on Aug. 4. Both phones were turned off, and the home burned several hours later.
DiMaggio, 40, was like an uncle to the children and close to the parents for nearly two decades. The warrants describe how DiMaggio took Hannah on multi-day trips, most recently to Malibu and Hollywood.
Hannah was rescued when FBI agents killed DiMaggio in the Idaho wilderness on Saturday, ending a six-day search that spanned much of the western United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. Hannah described on a social media site how she survived captivity and how she is coping with the deaths of her mother and brother.
"I wish I could go back in time and risk my life to try and save theirs. I will never forgive myself for not trying harder to save them," she wrote.
The postings, which began Monday night and stopped Tuesday night, appeared on the ask.fm social-networking site account for "Hannahbanana722" of Lakeside, where the teen lived with her mother and brother. The account was disabled Wednesday.
DiMaggio was shot at least five times in the head and chest, according to authorities, who were unable to determine a precise number of gunshot wounds. DiMaggio's body was cremated Tuesday near Los Angeles, said family spokesman Andrew Spanswick.
Investigators who searched DiMaggio's home found letters from Hannah, an incendiary device, a handcuff box and "arson wire," according to a warrant posted on the website of KFMB-TV. The warrant does not elaborate on the letters or nature of the devices.
DiMaggio was extraordinarily close to both children, driving Hannah to gymnastics meets and Ethan to football practice. The warrants say the former telecommunications technician took Hannah on multi-day trips, most recently to Malibu and Hollywood.
The warrants do not indicate the time, duration or content of the calls that DiMaggio and Hannah exchanged before she was picked up at cheerleading practice Aug. 4, hours before firefighters found DiMaggio's burning garage in Boulevard, a rural town 65 miles east of San Diego.
Jan Caldwell, a San Diego County sheriff's spokeswoman, said they may have been discussing pickup times.
"He told us he was losing his house because of money issues so we went up there one last time to support him, and to have fun riding go karts up there but he tricked us," Hannah wrote in one social media posting.
Hannah wrote she "basically" stayed awake for six straight days and repeatedly told her captor she was hungry. She couldn't escape because DiMaggio had a gun and "threatened to kill me and anyone who tried to help."