The family of an East County homicide and kidnapping suspect who was fatally shot by authorities earlier this month in the Idaho wilderness is asking for a DNA test to see if two of his victims were in fact his biological children.
James DiMaggio's family is questioning the paternity because he left a $112,000 life insurance policy to the family of the children, DiMaggio family spokesman Andrew Spanswick told KGTV 10 News.
DiMaggio is suspected of kidnapping 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and killing her 44-year-old mother, Christina Anderson, and 8-year-old brother, Ethan, earlier this month. Authorities tracked DiMaggio and Hannah to a remote area in Idaho days later, and he was fatally shot by an FBI agent. The teen was unharmed and has since been reunited with her extended family.
The DiMaggio family is not contesting the policy payout, which was designated to go to Hannah and Ethan's paternal grandmother to be used for the children.
"He stated he did not want it to go to their parents because they were having marital problems and he didn't trust them with the money on their own," Spanswick said.
Hannah and Ethan's parents were estranged, and the father had recently taken a job out of state. DiMaggio has been described as a close family friend who reportedly developed an infatuation with Hannah that made her uncomfortable.
"We are requesting DNA samples from Hannah and anything they can get from Ethan," Spanswick said. "There are rumors Jim was the children's real father. The parents didn't marry until 2002. We think it's strange (DiMaggio) left them so much money with no explanation."
Brett Anderson, Hannah and Ethan's father, told U-T San Diego the claim was "ridiculous" because Ethan's body was identified using his DNA. A publicist for the family told the newspaper that Christina Anderson was six months pregnant with Hannah when the pair first met DiMaggio.
It was unclear whether the DiMaggio family planned to force the issue in court.
-City News Service