SAN DIEGO (AP) — Court papers shed new light on the slayings of a California mother and son and abduction of a teenager by a family friend, revealing that the suspect tortured his victims before he killed them and exchanged more than a dozen calls earlier that day with the teen.
Warrants unsealed Wednesday do not describe the torture but say firefighters found the mother’s body in James Lee DiMaggio’s garage near a crowbar and what appeared to be blood next to her head. DiMaggio is believed to have shot and killed their family dog, found under a sleeping bag in the garage with blood close to its head.
Investigators found the child’s body as they sifted through rubble.
DiMaggio and 16-year-old Hannah Anderson exchanged about 13 calls before Hannah was picked up from cheerleading practice on Aug. 4. Both phones were turned off, and the home burned several hours later.
The warrants don’t specify the times, duration or nature of the calls. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has been adamant that Hannah Anderson was taken against her will.
DiMaggio, 40, was like an uncle to the children and a constant presence in their lives. The warrants describe how DiMaggio took Hannah on multi-day trips, most recently to Malibu and Hollywood.
Hannah Anderson was rescued when FBI agents killed DiMaggio in the Idaho wilderness on Saturday, ending a six-day search that spanned much of the Western United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. Hannah Anderson described on a social media site how she survived captivity and how she is coping with the deaths of her mother and brother.
“I wish I could go back in time and risk my life to try and save theirs. I will never forgive myself for not trying harder to save them,” she wrote in an account that was disabled Wednesday.
DiMaggio was shot at least five times in the head and chest, according to the Valley County, Idaho, coroner, who was unable to determine a precise number of gunshot wounds. His body was cremated Tuesday near Los Angeles, family spokesman Andrew Spanswick said.
DiMaggio had invited the children and their mother, Christina Anderson, 44, to his house in Boulevard, a rural town 65 miles east of San Diego.
“He told us he was losing his house because of money issues so we went up there one last time to support him, and to have fun riding go karts up there but he tricked us,” Hannah wrote on her ask.fm social media account.
Hannah said she “basically” stayed awake for six straight days and repeatedly told her captor she was hungry. She couldn’t escape because DiMaggio had a gun and “threatened to kill me and anyone who tried to help.”
Asked if she would have preferred DiMaggio got a lifetime prison sentence instead of being killed, she said, “He deserved what he got.”