James DiMaggio (l.) and Hannah Anderson) / AP/SAN DIEGO SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
(CNN) -- James DiMaggio's family is requesting DNA
samples from the family of Hannah Anderson, the 16-year-old girl he's
accused of kidnapping and whose mother and brother were found dead in
his burned home.
The reason? They want to know if he was Hannah and 8-year-old Ethan's biological father, a family spokesman said.
"We are going to be
requesting from the Anderson family that we try to get DNA samples from
Hannah. And if they have anything left from Ethan, that we get a DNA
sample," family spokesman Andrew Spanswick told CNN affiliate KGTV. "There has been a lot of rumors that Jim might be the father of either or both children."
Reached by CNN, Spanswick said DiMaggio's sister, Lora, is making the request, but would not elaborate further.
A representative for the Anderson family appeared to shoot down the theory.
"Brett and Tina Anderson
did not meet Mr. DiMaggio until the sixth month of Tina's pregnancy with
Hannah. Brett Anderson's DNA was used to identify the body of his dead
son Ethan Anderson," the family statement said.
A complex case
There was a time when the Hannah Anderson abduction case seemed clear-cut.
DiMaggio, a close
Anderson family friend, allegedly kills Hannah's mother and brother,
burns his house down, kidnaps Hannah and goes on the run. After a
frantic week-long manhunt, he is spotted in the Idaho wilderness and
shot dead by an FBI agent. Hannah is safe and reunited with her father.
That was on August 10.
With each passing day since then, the case has taken on added complexity.
On Monday, the Anderson
family spokeswoman told CNN that DiMaggio, 40, left a life insurance
policy from his job as a telecommunications tech that named Hannah and
Ethan's grandmother, Bernice Anderson, as the beneficiary.
Stacy Hess, the spokeswoman, did not know the dollar amount but other media outlets put it at around $110,000.
"We find it very strange
that he has left all this money without any explanation," Spanswick
told KGTV, in explaining the need for the DNA tests.
"It states specifically
that he didn't want to give it to either parent cause he didn't trust
them," Spanswick said, referring to Hannah's parents.
The Anderson children
called DiMaggio "Uncle Jim." One search warrant referred to Hannah's
mother as DiMaggio's "best friend's wife."
Hannah spotted with captor
Then there is this.
Hannah was seen in a car with DiMaggio about 20 hours before he allegedly set fire to his house, police said Tuesday.
The two were seen in
DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa just after midnight Sunday, August 4, said
San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell. She
confirmed reporting from the Los Angeles Times that the two were spotted
at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint.
See Also: Hannah Anderson says captor "got what he deserved"
Caldwell did not say what the two were doing together, or if Hannah Anderson was with DiMaggio voluntarily.
CNN was unable to get an Anderson family response to this revelation.
Actions raise eyebrows
Some of Hannah's actions have raised eyebrows in some quarters.
A friend of Hannah's told authorities "DiMaggio took her on multiple day trips," according to a search warrant.
The same document said
phone records indicate the two "called each other approximately 13
times" shortly before both their phones were turned off around 4 p.m. (7
p.m. ET) on August 4.
That was around the time
that Hannah was picked up from cheerleading practice at Sweetwater High
School, the warrant says, while noting it wasn't known who picked her
The same document says
that a fire was reported at around 8 p.m. later that day at DiMaggio's
two-story log cabin and a detached garage in Boulevard, California.
After battling the fire, authorities found the bodies of the teenager's mother, Christina Anderson, and Ethan.
An affidavit claimed that both had been "tortured and killed" by DiMaggio, who then set his home and garage ablaze.
A fire captain found
Christina Anderson face down in the garage, covered with a tarp, and
with a crowbar and what appeared to be blood next to her head.
An Amber Alert was issued the next day.
The ordeal ended about
1,000 miles from where it started, on August 10, when an FBI tactical
agent shot and killed DiMaggio in the Frank Church-River of No Return
Wilderness, about 15 miles outside Cascade, Idaho.
As to Hannah, she was physically unharmed and soon returned to her family in Southern California.
The teenager hasn't
spoken publicly or with reporters since the ordeal. But she did field
anonymous questions on the website ask.fm, according to Alan MacNabb,
whose son is one of Hannah's closest friends.
In those comments, she
said DiMaggio had apparently set some kind of a timing device to start
the blaze at his home. She also said she did not want to go with her
"dad's best friend" and that, had she tried to escape from him, "He
would have killed me."
San Diego County
deputies searching DiMaggio's charred home found a handwritten note,
handcuff box, camping equipment, a DNA swab kit, two used condoms and
letters from Hannah, according to an affidavit.
Contents of the letters and the handwritten note were not revealed in the affidavit.