SANTEE, Calif. - Family members on Saturday were celebrating after hearing the news that missing teenager Hannah Anderson was found safe.
"Oh, we're so excited, we're so lucky … none of us has started to breathe yet and we're waiting, waiting for Hannah to come home," Jennifer Willis, Hannah's great-aunt, told 10News reporter Allison Ash during a live interview on Saturday. "It's not going to happen until tomorrow but … none of us have been able to breathe."
Authorities said Saturday that Hannah was found safe in Idaho. The man accused of kidnapping her and killing her mother Tina and younger brother Ethan – James DiMaggio – had been shot and killed by an FBI tactical agent.
"We have had so much incredible support, we've had absolutely everybody across California, we've had 'Bring Hannah home' on our windows of our cars, we're driving it around, we're getting people honking and waving we've had a tremendous amount of support, especially with the media and I want to thank all of you as well," Willis told Ash. "You guys have been the backbone of getting her back here."
Family members could barely contain themselves as they rushed to share the news that Hannah was safe.
"It was like maybe the Chargers will finally win the Super Bowl or something, but even better than that … 10 times better than Chargers, you know," said Hannah's cousin, Brandon Fambrough. "It was the most excitement you can even imagine."
Another relative said, "I'm so glad she's safe, and she's OK. She's such a strong girl. We knew she was strong and we knew she'd make it. We knew she could do this, and she did it."
When asked about DiMaggio, Willis said, "I've been torn about whether I was happy or sad about whether he would be killed come alive because I wanted to know the 'whys' because they haunt you. The hardest thing … I never wished him any ill, but I'm glad he's dead … I did not want to put Hannah through any more of this traumatic episode. I am so glad we don't have to deal with that. I don't want to see his face any more on the news. I don't want to see him ever again. I want it behind us. We want to move on. We want him to go away."
Hannah's cousin, Hallie Landy, told 10News, "I'm happy he's gone. He's not here to hurt anybody else. I wish he was around to face the law, to be honest, because he deserves to be punished for what he did to my family."
Fambrough added, "After all this, he really is a monster. How could he not be?"
But right now, it is not about DiMaggio. It is about healing.
"I don't know what she saw," said Willis. "I'm afraid to know what she saw, what she experienced, but she's tough like all of us, or she wouldn't have been found."
Sara Britt, Hannah's grandmother, said, "Now, we can take our time to grieve my daughter and my grandson … but we have our granddaughter and we couldn't ask for anything more at this point."
- Photos show how DiMaggio's car was found (http://bit.ly/14Ba71b)
- Horseback riders speak about teen, abductor (http://bit.ly/11XmQKz)
- Hannah Anderson reunited with father (http://bit.ly/17hzfsw)
- Missing teen found safe, suspect killed (http://bit.ly/1cWT0KS)
- Friend: DiMaggio sought to die like dad (http://bit.ly/19lu3d0)
- Father of Hannah Anderson reacts to news (http://bit.ly/1eCljfu)
- Hannah Anderson's family members elated (http://bit.ly/1cqpwqX)
- Timeline: Search for DiMaggio, children (http://bit.ly/16DXQIc)
- Officials ID remains of Ethan Anderson (http://bit.ly/18mIfxK)
- Father feels son died in Boulevard home (http://bit.ly/14fgjrm)
- Terrain making search for teen tough (http://bit.ly/17fgjLa)
- Teen's family relieved by sighting (http://bit.ly/16HCtHR)
- Father: 'Just let my daughter go' (http://bit.ly/16HBxmJ)
- Manhunt for murder, kidnap suspect (http://bit.ly/19WNlEZ)
- Sheriff's Dept: Ore. sightings unfounded (http://bit.ly/17ha5dM)
- Psychologist analyzes DiMaggio behavior (http://bit.ly/1622nHN)
- Sister of murder, kidnap suspect speaks (http://bit.ly/15QuhnC)
- Officials: DiMaggio may have explosives(http://bit.ly/133XpcU)
- Grandparents plea for teen's safe return (http://bit.ly/13OMGSe)
- Vigil held for missing teenage girl (http://bit.ly/1bmP7x2)
- Amber Alert suspect has prior arrest (http://bit.ly/1eArKja)
- Friends: DiMaggio had crush on teen girl (http://bit.ly/1731U4x)
- Search continues for 2 missing children (http://bit.ly/15KdZwu)
- Amber Alert suspect has history of fleeing police (http://bit.ly/1eArKja)
- Missing kids' dad makes desperate plea (http://bit.ly/15KdZwu)
- Amber Alert for missing kids upgraded (http://bit.ly/16ZuMKW)
- Body discovered in Boulevard fire (http://bit.ly/16HzkaT)
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