SAN DIEGO — Horseback riders who spotted a 16-year-old Lakeside girl and her alleged abductor in a remote Idaho wilderness, leading to the suspect’s fatal shooting by law enforcement and the girls rescue, said Sunday the girl appeared scared.
One of the four riders, Mark John, told reporters in Boise, Idaho that Hannah Anderson and 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio seemed out of place, as the campers had a chance, anonymous encounter in the rugged wilderness.
“They were just like a square peg going into a round hole — they didn’t fit,” John said. “He might have been an outdoorsman in California, but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho.”
Mike Young said DiMaggio told him they had been headed toward the Salmon River, but they were headed in the wrong direction, which he considered a red flag.
Hannah appeared scared and also was wearing what appeared pajama bottoms or sweat pants, which was unusual, he said. Both also appeared to have brand new, shiny camping gear.
The group saw the man and girl again later at Morehead Lake and spoke with them again.
The girl had her feet in the water, and John said after attempting to joke with her, she said to herself something along the lines of “Looks like we’re all in trouble now.”
Mary Young said that at one point the suspect appeared to have had his arm around the girl’s waist and she appeared frightened.
John said that after the group’s excursion, he saw the amber alert on television and alerted a friend in law enforcement.
“When they found that car the next morning, we knew we had done the right thing,” he said.
John said he was glad Hannah was found safe, and was grateful for the Amber Alert system because “without that this would not have happened.”