On August 4, firefighters and police responded to a fire at a log cabin near San Diego belonging to 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio.
They soon found a green tarp in the garage. When officers lifted it, they "saw a human body was face down and noticed the tarp was partially melted to the head, and what appeared to be human hair." Next to the woman's body was the body of a burned child, along with a bloody crowbar and a dead dog.
They eventually identified the woman as 44-year-old Christina Anderson and put out an Amber Alert for her two children: 16-year-old Hannah and her 8-year-old brother Ethan, who was later identified as the second body found at the fire.
Five days later, authorities spotted DiMaggio's Nissan truck parked near a trailhead in Cascade, Idaho. After getting a tip from some horseback riders about a suspicious-looking man and a teen girl, local, state, and federal officials began combing the wilderness nearby.
The search ended the next day with a shootout at a campground where DiMaggio was shot at least five times by police before dying. Anderson, unharmed, was returned to her father. Now that the search is over, police are releasing details about this tragic kidnapping and murder case.
DiMaggio was a family friend
Brett Anderson, Hannah's father, reportedly viewed DiMaggio as his best friend, and his children thought of him as an uncle. In fact, the reason Christina, Hannah, and Ethan reportedly went to DiMaggio's cabin in the first place was to give him moral support
"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 on social media site ask.fm.
Hannah reclines across the laps of her extended family. James DiMaggio (right) is perched on the arm of the couch. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Andrea Saincome)
DiMaggio might have had an infatuation with Hannah
Phone records show that 13 phone calls were placed between Hannah and DiMaggio before she was kidnapped after attending cheerleading practice.
Police have said that DiMaggio might have been infatuated with Hannah, who claimed she felt uncomfortable around him, but didn't speak up because of his relationship with the family. A warrant claimed that DiMaggio had taken Hannah on day trips in the past, including visits to Malibu and Hollywood.
"He said it was more like a family crush like he had feelings as in he wanted nothing bad to happen to me," she wrote.
Hannah didn't know what had happened to her family
When FBI agents finally rescued Hannah after their six-day man-hunt, Hannah reportedly didn't know that DiMaggio had killed her mother and brother.
"Our focus now is getting Hannah all the resources, the help she needs to get through this extremely traumatic ordeal that she's been through," San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore told reporters. "Plus, let's not lose sight of the fact that she's lost her mother and her brother, which she was not aware of until she was recovered up in Idaho."
DiMaggio might have tortured his victims
While police haven't released many details about the alleged murders, investigators did release this affidavit of what they initially thought had happened:
DiMaggio tortured and killed his best friend's wife and eight-year-old son. DiMaggio also shot and killed the family dog. After the double homicide, DiMaggio set the house on fire.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- 10 things you need to know today: August 1, 2014
- How to make classic pulled pork
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
Subscribe to the Week