The Hannah Anderson Case


Priscila Chavez, Reporter

 According to 460,000 children were reported missing each year. There are countless stories out there of various victims and their story. Often times we don’t get to know about their incident because some of them don’t make it out alive. Luckily enough for Hannah Anderson, she got the chance to be saved before something harmful could have happened to her. This is Hannah’s story.

     On August third, 2013, 16 teen-year-old Hannah was at cheerleading practice at El Capitan High School in Lakeside California. After practice, she was then picked up by a family friend James DiMaggio, in which Hannah said he “creeped her out” and said that DiMaggio had a crush on her and said he would date her if he was her age. DiMaggio had been friends with Hannah’s father, Brett Anderson for many years. Brett was in California at the time due to a three-month job in Tennessee. Hannah’s mother, Christina Anderson, and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan Anderson were at DiMaggio’s home about 45 miles away from the Anderson home. The mother and son were staying there to say their goodbyes to DiMaggio because he had been planning on moving Texas.

     The following day on August fourth a fire had been reported at DiMaggio’s house. When firemen were called and showed up what they found ended up being Christina and Ethan Anderson’s bodies; along with their family dog, Cali. Autopsy reports released one month later revealed that Christina died of blunt force trauma. They believed the weapon to be used was a crowbar. She was allegedly tortured and reports also found out that a plastic cable tie had been used to wrap her ankles and duct tape was applied to encase her neck and mouth. Examiners also said she had been knocked in the head with the crowbar at least 12 times with fractured legs and her right arm. Ethan Anderson’s autopsy had been determined that he had skeletal fractures but died of the fire. The dog, Cali was then shot dead.

     “It’s honestly heartbreaking that someone would do something so scary like this, I wouldn’t even know what to do in that situation and I hope I’ll never be in one like that,” said Alyssa VonDeng Catbagan (‘19).

     That same day Anderson’s grandparents called the police to report their grandchildren and encouraged police to make a statewide AMBER ALERT. The alert went from Canada to and even Mexico. A few days later on August seventh DiMaggio and Hannah were in Cascade, Idaho and a few people saw DiMaggio and the matching descriptions that were released on the news. His car description of a blue Nissan Versa was also a matching coincidence. Anderson says that DiMaggio would threaten to kill her and any bystanders if they even tried to get help.

     Then, on August 10, police and SWAT team officials spotted located the campsite in which DiMaggio and Anderson were staying at. As Hannah stayed at their tenet DiMaggio left wandering around for resources. During this time a helicopter was flying above trying to locate the pair. In footage, you can clearly see Anderson waving her arms up trying to get their attention. An FBI tactical ended up shooting DiMaggio dead with six bullets since he fired one bullet, leading for them to fire back.

     When Anderson was rescued she was expecting to go back home to her mother brother but soon enough found out that they were apart of DiMaggio’s sick intentions.

     “I always see and hear about youth abduction cases and it makes me angry that someone would make a child go through something horrific like that and rob away their innocence,” said Lesley Melendez (‘19).

     Andersons’s case was so chilling that Lifetime, made a movie about her case. Jessica Amylee was cast to play as Hannah. The television channel is well known for making movies about murder and on true stories like this one and the Carolina White story.

     Although this case is from six years ago it takes a long time to recover from things like this and it should still be talked about as well as all child abduction cases.