Community remembers victims of James DiMaggio

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Ethan Anderson and his mother, Christina, were eulogized today as a boy “full of spirit” and a mother “devoted to her children.”

The 44-year-old woman and 8-year-old child were memorialized at a public funeral mass at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Santee. They were murdered by a family friend, James Lee DiMaggio, who also reportedly kidnapped Hannah Anderson, 16, and who was killed by a police sharpshooter in an Idaho forest.

David Braun, who is Christina’s uncle,  said people “just wanted to be Ethan’s buddy,” adding his mother, nicknamed “Tiny Tina,” was “always ready to help out if you needed a friend or a favor.”

Braun was the only family member to speak at the funeral mass, which was attended by Hannah Anderson. Hannah Anderson and her father, Brett Anderson, sat in the front of the church along with family members during today’s service.

The bodies of Christina and Ethan Anderson were found inside the burned-out home in rural Boulevard belonging to the suspect DiMaggio on Aug. 4. Authorities believed DiMaggio had abducted Hannah the day before.

Authorities eventually found Hannah and DiMaggio — whom she and Ethan had known their entire lives — in a remote area in Idaho after a group of horseback riders spotted them in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area.

DiMaggio was killed in a shootout with a federal hostage-rescue team in the forest preserve about 80 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho on the afternoon of Aug. 10.

Hannah was unharmed, and was told of the deaths of her mother and brother after being rescued.

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