Minggu, 11 Agustus 2013

Rescued teen Hannah Anderson to be reunited with dad

Teenager Hannah Anderson is due to be reunited with her elated father on Sunday for the first time since a family friend allegedly killed her mother and brother and took off into the wildnerness with her.

The 16 year old was rescued Saturday afternoon in a remote area of Idaho where kidnapping and murder suspect James Lee DiMaggio 40 was killed by law enforcement authorities said.

The teenager was being examined at a hospital in Boise while relatives celebrated her rescue.

We're just so relieved said the girl's grandmother Sara Britt outside her home in Santee Calif.

The family said they are waiting to learn the details of Hannah's six day ordeal.

We don t know what she saw or heard. Hannah is the only person who knows what happened that night grandfather Ralph Britt said on TODAY.

After a manhunt that went nearly a week and began in California a teen girl is safe after a harrowing alleged kidnapping that ended with gunfire in Idaho's wilderness. With Hannah Anderson now recovering authorities say she will be reunited with her father. NBC's Joe Fryer reports.

The grandmother added that joy over Hannah's recovery will now give way to mourning for her mother and brother.

We had to put the murder of Ethan and Tina on hold in the back of our minds because we had to totally focus on Hannah Britt said. So now we can take the time to grieve my daughter and grandson.''

Officials suspect that DiMaggio set fire to his own house last Sunday killing Hannah's 8 year old brother Ethan and their mother Christina Anderson 44.

They suspect he then kidnapped Hannah setting off a search that expanded to Canada and Mexico and saw Amber Alerts issued in several states.

A break came when a horseback rider spotted a middle aged man and a teenage girl hiking in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and later realized they were the subjects of a manhunt.

Federal and local law enforcement spent Saturday combing the wilderness after his DiMaggio s car a Nissan Versa was found Friday covered with brush and without license plates.

With air support and on horseback they scoured the isolated area dotted by only a few scattered cabins and limited cell phone service and figured out where DiMaggio was holed up.

The pair had a blue tent and other camping equipment and DiMaggio was seen moving around wood and other materials possibly to conceal or fortify the hideout the Los Angeles Times reported citing law enforcement sources said.

The rescue was very challenging Ada County Idaho sheriff s department spokeswoman Andrea Dearden said Sunday.

She told TODAY that agents were forced to land a two and a half hour hike away from where the pair's campsite had been spotted in order to secure the girl s safety.

She declined to discuss details of the operation or whether DiMaggio had fired at agents saying that a review team would investigate the suspect's death.

Hannah is safe and that was our first priority from the very beginning said Valley County Sheriff Patty Bolen at a press conference Saturday.

Hannah's father Brett Anderson was elated his daughter was found alive San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said.

Anderson family / NBC News

Christina Anderson and her son Ethan both murdered in their San Diego home last Sunday seen in this family photograph released to NBC News.

When law enforcement told him Hannah was safe he called the Britts and told them to come over. They made the long drive not knowing whether they would get the best or worst news.

He said Hannah was safe and Jim was dead then hugs joy. We were so happy Ralph Britt said.

Sheriff's officials told NBC San Diego that Christina Anderson recently separated from her husband had a close platonic relationship with DiMaggio. He had an unusual infatuation with Hannah they said.

Marissa Chavez 15 a friend of Hannah's told The Associated Press that a couple of months ago she witnessed DiMaggio tell Hannah he had a crush on her and would date her if they were the same age.

She was a little creeped out by it. She didn t want to be alone with him Chavez told the AP.

Ralph Britt said the family had known DiMaggio for years and never had any inkling that he could pose a threat.

It was just a complete shock. He was Uncle Jim he said. We ve known him for years .Let it serve as a warning that s all we can say.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sara and Ralph Britt are the grandparents of Hannah Anderson the teen girl who was rescued from her alleged kidnapper in the Idaho wilderness Saturday. They said that they were so happy to hear their granddaughter was finally safe. TODAY's Erica Hill interviews Sara and Ralph Britt.

This story was originally published on Sun Aug 11 2013 11 48 AM EDT

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