James DiMaggio's Family Believes He Could Be Father of Hannah and Ethan Anderson

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email
(courtesy KGTV & ABC News)

(courtesy KGTV & ABC News)

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

James DiMaggio's family wants paternity tests to determine whether the murder and kidnapping suspect, who was shot dead by FBI agents, is the father of Hannah Anderson and her slain 8-year-old brother.

DiMaggio, 40, was such a close friend to the Anderson family that he bypassed his sister and instead named the paternal grandmother of Anderson and her brother, Ethan, as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy.

Andrew Spanswick, a spokesman for DiMaggio's family, said they are not contesting the $112,000 left to Bernice Anderson, however he did tell ABC News' San Diego affiliate KGTV they are hoping to get a DNA sample from Hannah and "anything they can get" from her brother Ethan, whose body was charred beyond recognition in a house fire.

"There are rumors Jim was the children's real father. The parents didn't marry until 2002. We think it's strange he left them so much money with no explanation," Spanswick said.

DiMaggio is suspected of killing Ethan Anderson and his mother, Christina Anderson, 44, at his Boulevard, Calif., home on Aug. 4. Authorities said he used two incendiary devices to set the home and garage on fire and left the bodies to burn as he fled with Hannah Anderson as his captive.

The search for DiMaggio and Anderson sparked a six-day manhunt that crossed state lines and ended dramatically on Aug. 10 in the Idaho wilderness.

As FBI agents raided DiMaggio's camp, he fired at them, prompting authorities to shoot and kill him, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said.

Anderson was rescued safely. However, it wasn't until after her interview that an FBI forensics interviewer broke the news to her that her mother and brother had been killed, Gore said.

Shortly after Brett Anderson, the teen's father, made a public plea for privacy, Hannah began fielding questions about her ordeal on the social media site ask.fm. She later disabled her account; however, a source briefed on Anderson's case confirmed to ABC News that the posts made on the site were from Anderson but could not confirm any of the information she had shared.

Authorities have said DiMaggio may have had an infatuation with Anderson, and she wrote that she had been uncomfortable around him in the past but had not said anything because he was a family friend.

"He said it was more like a family crush, like he had feelings as in he wanted nothing bad to happen to me," she wrote.

Last Thursday, Anderson stepped out for the first time since her rescue to attend a fundraiser to benefit her recovery and to pay for the funerals of her mother and brother.

A public memorial service for Christina and Ethan Anderson is scheduled for this Saturday at the Guardian Angel Roman Catholic Church in Santee, Calif.


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