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Hannah Anderson, abducted Calif. teen, discusses kidnapping

7:01 AM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
Hannah Anderson discusses her kidnapping ordeal on the "Today" show. (Photo: NBC, 'Today' via USA Today)
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SAN DIEGO (AP) - The 16-year-old California girl who was kidnapped by a family friend clarified some details Thursday about her relationship with her kidnapper, including that they exchanged texts beforehand, not phone calls as police have said, and that they wrote each other letters a year ago when she wasn't getting along with her mother.

The girl, Hannah Anderson, was kidnapped by family friend James Lee DiMaggio this month after he killed her mother and Hannah's 8-year-old brother at his rural house east of San Diego and fled with the teen.

According to search warrants, Anderson exchanged about 13 phone calls with DiMaggio before she was picked up from cheerleading practice that day. But Anderson told NBC's Today show in an interview that aired Thursday that communications were texts, not calls, and she was telling DiMaggio where to pick her up.

The San Diego County Sheriff's said it could not immediately explain the discrepancy.

Authorities have also said that letters from Anderson were found at the home. Anderson said that they were written about a year ago when she was having trouble getting along with her mother and she sought advice from DiMaggio.

"They were just to help me through tough times," she said in her first news interview since her rescue.

Anderson was kidnapped Aug. 4 and rescued days later by FBI agents during a shootout in the Idaho wilderness that killed DiMaggio.

Investigators say DiMaggio killed 44-year-old Christina Anderson and her son, Ethan, whose bodies were discovered after DiMaggio set fire to his home in Boulevard, a tiny town 65 miles east of San Diego.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has called Hannah "a victim in every sense of the word." He has declined to discuss a possible motive and investigators haven't publicly addressed other aspects of the case, including why the family went to DiMaggio's home, how Christina and Ethan Anderson died, the nature of letters from Hannah that were discovered in DiMaggio's home and how Hannah was treated in captivity.

DiMaggio used a timer to set the fire, giving him a 20-hour jump on authorities, San Diego County Sheriff's Department Jan Caldwell said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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