James DiMaggio family requests DNA samples for Hannah Anderson, ETA - Hannah speaks out
James DiMaggio family requests DNA samples for Hannah Anderson, her brother
- NEW: Anderson family says they didn't know DiMaggio until after Hannah was conceived
- DiMaggio family wants to know if he fathered Hannah, Ethan
- He names Hannah's grandmother as his life insurance beneficiary
- Authorities say DiMaggio, Hannah were spotted in a car before the abduction
(CNN) -- James DiMaggio's family is requesting DNA samples from the family of Hannah Anderson, the 16-year-old girl he's accused of kidnapping and whose mother and brother were found dead in his burned home.
The reason? They want to know if he was Hannah and 8-year-old Ethan's biological father, a family spokesman said.
"We are going to be requesting from the Anderson family that we try to get DNA samples from Hannah. And if they have anything left from Ethan, that we get a DNA sample," family spokesman Andrew Spanswick told CNN affiliate KGTV. "There has been a lot of rumors that Jim might be the father of either or both children."
Reached by CNN, Spanswick said DiMaggio's sister, Lora, is making the request, but would not elaborate further.
A representative for the Anderson family appeared to shoot down the theory.
"Brett and Tina Anderson did not meet Mr. DiMaggio until the sixth month of Tina's pregnancy with Hannah. Brett Anderson's DNA was used to identify the body of his dead son Ethan Anderson," the family statement said.
A complex case
There was a time when the Hannah Anderson abduction case seemed clear-cut.
DiMaggio, a close Anderson family friend, allegedly kills Hannah's mother and brother, burns his house down, kidnaps Hannah and goes on the run. After a frantic week-long manhunt, he is spotted in the Idaho wilderness and shot dead by an FBI agent. Hannah is safe and reunited with her father.
That was on August 10.
With each passing day since then, the case has taken on added complexity.
On Monday, the Anderson family spokeswoman told CNN that DiMaggio, 40, left a life insurance policy from his job as a telecommunications tech that named Hannah and Ethan's grandmother, Bernice Anderson, as the beneficiary.
Stacy Hess, the spokeswoman, did not know the dollar amount but other media outlets put it at around $110,000.
"We find it very strange that he has left all this money without any explanation," Spanswick told KGTV, in explaining the need for the DNA tests.
"It states specifically that he didn't want to give it to either parent cause he didn't trust them," Spanswick said, referring to Hannah's parents.
The Anderson children called DiMaggio "Uncle Jim." One search warrant referred to Hannah's mother as DiMaggio's "best friend's wife."
Hannah spotted with captor
Then there is this.
Hannah was seen in a car with DiMaggio about 20 hours before he allegedly set fire to his house, police said Tuesday.
The two were seen in DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa just after midnight Sunday, August 4, said San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell. She confirmed reporting from the Los Angeles Times that the two were spotted at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint.
Caldwell did not say what the two were doing together, or if Hannah Anderson was with DiMaggio voluntarily.
CNN was unable to get an Anderson family response to this revelation.
Actions raise eyebrows
Some of Hannah's actions have raised eyebrows in some quarters.
A friend of Hannah's told authorities "DiMaggio took her on multiple day trips," according to a search warrant.
The same document said phone records indicate the two "called each other approximately 13 times" shortly before both their phones were turned off around 4 p.m. (7 p.m. ET) on August 4.
That was around the time that Hannah was picked up from cheerleading practice at Sweetwater High School, the warrant says, while noting it wasn't known who picked her up.
The same document says that a fire was reported at around 8 p.m. later that day at DiMaggio's two-story log cabin and a detached garage in Boulevard, California.
After battling the fire, authorities found the bodies of the teenager's mother, Christina Anderson, and Ethan.
An affidavit claimed that both had been "tortured and killed" by DiMaggio, who then set his home and garage ablaze.
A fire captain found Christina Anderson face down in the garage, covered with a tarp, and with a crowbar and what appeared to be blood next to her head.
An Amber Alert was issued the next day.
The ordeal ended about 1,000 miles from where it started, on August 10, when an FBI tactical agent shot and killed DiMaggio in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, about 15 miles outside Cascade, Idaho.
As to Hannah, she was physically unharmed and soon returned to her family in Southern California.
The teenager hasn't spoken publicly or with reporters since the ordeal. But she did field anonymous questions on the website ask.fm, according to Alan MacNabb, whose son is one of Hannah's closest friends.
In those comments, she said DiMaggio had apparently set some kind of a timing device to start the blaze at his home. She also said she did not want to go with her "dad's best friend" and that, had she tried to escape from him, "He would have killed me."
San Diego County deputies searching DiMaggio's charred home found a handwritten note, handcuff box, camping equipment, a DNA swab kit, two used condoms and letters from Hannah, according to an affidavit.
Contents of the letters and the handwritten note were not revealed in the affidavit.
(Reuters) - Hannah Anderson, a 16-year-old California girlkidnapped by a man and taken to Idaho after he killed her mother and younger brother, said in a television interview that she considers herself a survivor who was raised to be strong.
The interview, which aired on Wednesday, comes just over a week after Anderson was rescued in the Idaho wilderness by FBI agents who shot and killed her captor, 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio.
Anderson's statements to NBC, in her first mainstream media interview since the ordeal, were aired on the network's "Nightly News" as a snippet of a full interview to be shown Thursday morning on the "Today" program.
"In the beginning, I was a victim but now, knowing everyone out there is helping me, I consider myself a survivor instead," Anderson told NBC News.
"My mom raised me to be strong," she said.
Anderson is believed to have taken to the social media website ask.fm just days after her rescue to field dozens of questions from strangers about her kidnapping, but she has otherwise remained silent about what she endured.
DNA TESTS CONSIDERED
In other developments on Wednesday, a spokesman for DiMaggio's family said they want more answers from police and have considered seeking DNA tests to determine if DiMaggio was the biological father of Hannah Anderson and her slain 8-year-old brother, Ethan.
Family members of DiMaggio were trying to understand what could have prompted the computer technician to kill 44-year-old Christina Anderson and her son, Ethan, and set fire to his rural San Diego area home, which was discovered burning on August 4, Andrew Spanswick told Reuters in an interview.
Spanswick was a friend of both DiMaggio and his sister, Lora Robinson, and has acted as a spokesman for the DiMaggio family.
"Lora is in a position of extreme grief and distress and she's looking for any sort explanation of how her brother could have changed from the person she knew into what he is accused of," Spanswick said of DiMaggio's sister.
The remains of Christina Anderson were found under a tarp in DiMaggio's log-cabin-style home in Boulevard, about 25 miles east of San Diego, and an autopsy found she died from blunt force trauma to the head.
The badly burned body of Ethan Anderson was found in a different part of the wreckage than his mother.
DiMaggio was discovered with Hannah Anderson on August 10 at a mountain lake in the remote Idaho wilderness and was shot to death by an FBI agent during an operation to rescue the girl.
Police have described DiMaggio as a longtime friend of Christina Anderson who was treated like an uncle to her children Hannah and Ethan.
Spanswick said members of DiMaggio's family had not made a formal request for DNA from Hannah or Ethan Anderson, but have raised the issue as they seek a fuller understanding of the events leading up to the murders and kidnapping.
A San Diego County Sheriff's spokesman, Jan Caldwell, said on Wednesday that no requests had been made to the department for DNA from Ethan Anderson. Representatives of the Anderson family could not be reached for comment.
Caldwell said that sheriff's investigators had confirmed that DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson were photographed in his car at 12:10 a.m. on August 4, some 20 hours before the house went up in flames.
Christina and Ethan Anderson were last seen alive on August 3 at their home in the San Diego community of Lakeside, and Hannah Anderson was picked up from a high school cheerleading event at Sweetwater High School in nearby National City that afternoon.
Authorities have not publicly discussed any possible motives for DiMaggio's actions. A family friend has said the suspect developed an apparent infatuation with the high school girl that made Hannah feel uncomfortable.
(Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Chris Francescani in New York; Editing by Maureen Bavdek, Cynthia Johnston and Ken Wills)