The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is releasing information to explain to the public how it handled the rescue of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson. But in terms of the motive or other aspects of the case, the department will keep those details under wraps. NBC 7’s Rory Devine explains.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and her captor, James Lee DiMaggio, 40, were caught on camera days before being discovered in the Idaho back country.
“We had their image, Hannah and DiMaggio in his Versa, at a Border Patrol checkpoint 10 after midnight,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.
“They were going westbound on Old Highway 8, so we knew he had about a 20-hour head start on us at that point,” Caldwell said.
“We knew he had planned this event. We knew he had put some of the material that caused the fire on a timer,” she said.
Christina Anderson, 44, and 8-year-old Ethan Anderson were found dead in the fire. The Medical Examiner's report said Christina Anderson died of blunt force injury to the head and ruled her death a homicide. FBI agents rescued Hannah and killed DiMaggio in Idaho six days later.
Officials said they are only releasing information that explains why they did what they did to rescue Hannah. They said all other details, such as a motive and letters from Hannah, will remain under wraps.
“Hannah is a minor, and we have to bear in mind that anything we say, anything we do, anything we write is going to stay with her the rest of her life,” Caldwell said. “I don’t want to victimize her a second time.”
Meanwhile, family spokesman Andrew Spanswick said DiMaggio left a $112,000 insurance policy to Bernice Anderson, Hannah’s paternal grandmother. Spanswick said DiMaggio didn't want to leave it to Christina or Brett Anderson because the couple was "on again off again."