Friends: Amber alert suspect James DiMaggio had crush on missing teen

Friends also say DiMaggio is avid camper

SAN DIEGO - Two close friends and their mother told 10News they were disturbed by James DiMaggio, the man accused of abducting Hannah Marie Anderson and her brother.

Angelina Amati said the family called DiMaggio "Uncle Jim," and added that she believed DiMaggio was depressed because he was about to lose his home.

Authorities remain on the lookout for DiMaggio, with a nationwide Amber Alert issued Monday for Hannah and her 8-year-old brother, Ethan. The alert included the possibility of DiMaggio going to either Texas or Canada. Amati said DiMaggio is an avid camper.

Amati's daughters told 10News that about 10 days ago, DiMaggio told Hannah he had a crush on her. The girls did not share that information with their mother until after the Amber Alert.

"I know Hannah did say she was a little creeped out when Jim did tell her he had a crush on her," said Amati.

Amati's younger daughter, Cheyenne, added that Hannah decided there would be no more visits alone with "Uncle Jim."

"Yeah, she said she wouldn't go up there anymore because it was just too awkward between them," she said.

When asked if Hannah was scared of him, she said, "I don't think so."

The last time they saw Hannah was at her Sweet 16 birthday party late last month. 

Amati said there was never any indication DiMaggio had any romantic feelings for Christine "Tina" Anderson, Hannah and Ethan's mother, whose body was found in DiMaggio's burned Boulevard home.

A second body was found in the burned-out home, but authorities have not made a positive identification.

The family friends said Brett Anderson, the missing children's father, had left the area six months ago to take a job in Tennessee. Amati said the family thought DiMaggio was going to help take care of them while Brett Anderson was away.

"He trusted … he knew he could take this job out-of-state because this man was going to look over his family while he was gone," said Amati.

Team 10 discovered DiMaggio has had previous run-ins with the law. Read more on that here. (Mobile users:

Print this article Back to Top