Hannah Anderson made her first public appearance on Thursday since her dramatic rescue from kidnapper James DiMaggio on Saturday.
16-year old Anderson was in San Diego to attend a fundraiser held by the Lakeside Boll Weevil restaurant, the proceeds of which will go to her family. The teen endured a horrifying ordeal earlier this month after family friend James DiMaggio tortured and killed her mother and 8-year old brother in their home, set it on fire, and kidnapped her. They spent several days in the Idaho wilderness before a group of horseback riders spotted them and called police.
On Thursday, Hannah’s father, Brett, made a statement, saying, “This is a small community that we are a part of. The community came together putting on this great fundraiser for Hannah… and this is how Lakeside rolls. So I just wanted to say how much we appreciate it from everybody, the community, family, friends for being here … and local sheriffs and law enforcement.”
DiMaggio was shot and killed by police after they tracked him down in a rural area; Hannah was unharmed but said she went several days without food or proper rest while she and her captor were on the run. Mark John, one of the horseback riders who phoned police, said he felt something was off about DiMaggio and Hannah the moment he spotted them camping on a site with no water source and brand new equipment.
“They were just like a square peg going into a round hole. They didn’t fit. He might have been an outdoorsman in California, but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho,” John said.
Hannah has spoken briefly on social media about her ordeal but isn’t allowed to give certain information due to the ongoing investigation. She has said that DiMaggio “deserved what he got“.