Daily Updates

August 14, 2013

California teen faces long recovery after rescue

SAN DIEGO — A 16-year-old girl who was rescued during an FBI shootout with her captor in the Idaho wilderness faces a long recovery, but support from family and friends can help her lead a happy, productive life, therapists said Tuesday.

Along with being abducted, Hannah Anderson lost her mother and 8-year-old brother, who were found dead after a fire at the home of her abductor. Hannah didn’t learn about the deaths until she was rescued on Saturday.

Therapists said her first step will be grieving those losses.

Hannah’s father told at least two people after the harrowing rescue that he planned to move with Hannah to Tennessee, where he recently moved.

The idea met resistance from some people who know the girl.

“She has a huge circle of friends, and she’s very outgoing and sociable,” said Dawn McNabb, whose son is a friend of Hannah. “I think it would be completely destructive ... She would be in a foreign place.”

She said Hannah had texted her son, Alan MacNabb, on Monday and Tuesday as she settles in with her maternal grandparents in Santee, an east San Diego suburb.

Moving would be a father’s “very normal reaction,” said Jessica Donohue-Dioh, a social work instructor at Xavier University in Cincinnati. She cautioned, however, that it shouldn’t be an attempt to bury the past.

“If something happened to my kids, I could understand wanting to remove my kids from that environment. It’s natural,” she said.

Shannon Traore, a family advocacy specialist at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said there were arguments for and against moving but it was important to consider the child’s wishes and support network.

“Certainly a fresh start is often something victims want and need,” Traore said.

Christopher Saincome, Hannah’s grandfather, said he has urged his son-in-law to have her stay in San Diego.

“I think she needs to be here with friends,” Saincome said.

Brett Anderson said Monday that his daughter suffered “a tremendous, horrific ordeal” and faced a slow recovery.

He asked for privacy and declined to answer questions after making a brief statement outside San Diego County Sheriff’s Department headquarters, which served as a command post during the massive 6-day search that spanned much of the West and parts of Canada and Mexico.

Donohue-Dioh said Hannah’s support network — whether family, friends or a church group — will be crucial to her recovery.

“The prospects for a happy, productive life depends on those things,” she said.

Therapists said the pace of Hannah’s recovery will depend partly on her degree of self-confidence before her ordeal.

Counselors will focus on acknowledging her trauma but not letting it control decisions, Donohue-Dioh said. It may involve confronting fears about a relationship or identifying what might trigger flashbacks.

Anderson is a gymnast at El Capitan High School in suburban Lakeside, where she participated in an advanced dance class. The incoming junior recently celebrated a birthday with about two dozen friends at a San Diego cabaret bar.

Her abductor, James Lee DiMaggio, 40, was like an uncle to her and her brother. He was close to their parents for nearly two decades.

A tip from horseback riders led rescuers to the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, a roadless 3,600-square-mile preserve in the heart of Idaho.

DiMaggio fired his rifle once or twice with Hannah nearby, and is believed to have shot first, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Capt. Duncan Fraser said last week that investigators believe DiMaggio may have had an “unusual infatuation” with the girl.

DiMaggio is suspected of killing Christina Anderson, 44, and Ethan Anderson, 8, and abandoning them on Aug. 4 in his burning, rural home east of San Diego.


Text Only
Daily Updates
  • 10 Things to Know for Friday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday.

    April 24, 2014

  • In Other News, April 24

    April 24, 2014

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    An Afghan government security guard opened fire Thursday on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital, killing three American physicians and wounding a U.S. nurse, officials said.

    April 24, 2014

  • Nevada rancher condemned for racist remarks

     A Nevada rancher who has become a conservative folk hero for resisting the federal government’s attempts to round up his cattle faced sharp criticism Thursday for racist comments published in a New York Times article.

    April 24, 2014

  • NRA seeks universal gun law at national meeting

    With concealed weapons now legal in all 50 states, the National Rifle Association’s focus at this week’s annual meeting is less about enacting additional state protections than on making sure the permits already issued still apply when the gun owners travel across the country.

    April 24, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday.

    April 23, 2014

  • In Other News, April 23

    April 23, 2014

  • US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • High court tosses $3.4M award to child porn victim

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices said Congress should change the law to benefit victims.

    April 23, 2014

  • Airport security vulnerabilities not uncommon

    For all the tens of billions of dollars that the nation has spent on screening passengers and their bags, few airports made a comparable investment to secure the airplanes themselves.

    April 23, 2014