The family of Hannah Anderson responded Wednesday to suggestions that the man who kidnapped the Lakeside teenager may have been her biological father, saying her parents met James DiMaggio when her mother was pregnant.
Stacy Hess, a spokeswoman for the Anderson family, released a statement to The Times via email.
“Brett and Tina Anderson met Mr. DiMaggio when Tina was in her sixth month of pregnancy with Hannah,” the statement said. “Brett Anderson’s DNA was used to identify the body of his dead son Ethan Anderson.”
The comments came after reports surfaced that DiMaggio’s sister was seeking a paternity test to determine if her brother was the biological father of 16-year-old Hannah or 8-year-old Ethan, whose body — along with his mother’s — was found in DiMaggio’s charred home earlier this month.
Andrew Spanswick, a spokesman for the DiMaggio family, said Lora Robinson had asked the coroner for DNA samples as part of her effort to “get to the bottom of what’s going on.”
“There were rumors that were circulating and she got wrapped up in the rumors,” Spanswick said. “She doesn’t know one way or the other. It’s a question that’s out there.”
Spanswick said Robinson was “not trying to cause any more pain for the Anderson family” but that she’s trying to determine what the motive behind her brother’s actions might have been. She has also asked authorities to examine some of the evidence, he said, including DiMaggio’s gun, a photo of DiMaggio and Hannah taken at a Border Patrol checkpoint, and letters from the teenager found at his home.
“We’d just like some more information,” Spanswick said. “It just doesn’t add up.”
The development was the latest in a series of new details trickling out of the case, which began Aug. 4 when the bodies of Hannah’s mother and brother were found at DiMaggio’s burning property in eastern San Diego County. The search — which triggered Amber Alerts across much of the West — ended six days later, when FBI agents found Hannah and DiMaggio at a campsite in a stretch of rural Idaho back \country.