CRIME
02/20/2015 12:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

FBI Releases Video Of Hannah Anderson's Rescue From James DiMaggio


"Jackpot."

That's the code word authorities used to signal that Hannah Anderson, the California teen who was kidnapped in 2013 and forced into the backwoods of Idaho, had been rescued.

The FBI released surveillance video and photos to ABC News of the harrowing rescue (video above), which showed then-16-year-old Anderson trying to flag down agents as her murderous kidnapper, 40-year-old James DiMaggio, was looking away. FBI agents discovered the pair in an Idaho forest in August 2013, one week after DiMaggio killed Anderson's mom and little brother and torched their Boulevard, California home.

The video, which was taken from an FBI plane that joined the search, showed the campsite where DiMaggio held Anderson captive. Photos showed that he was carrying guns and handcuffs at the time. Authorities moved in on Aug. 10, once one of the agents in the air spotted Anderson flailing her arms in an attempt to be seen.

hannah anderson

A shirtless James DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson spotted on the day of her rescue in Aug. 2013.

"We were actually able to verify that it was a male and a female with blond hair and a small animal. So, at that point we knew we had something extremely valuable," U.S. Marshal Steve Jurman told ABC News.

DiMaggio reportedly fired at responding officers and was shot dead. A coroner later said he had prescription medication in his system the day of the shootout.

Anderson's rescue was triggered by a chance encounter with a retired sheriff and three other horseback riders in the deep wilderness of Idaho on Aug. 8. Two days later, the FBI plane spotted DiMaggio's campsite.

But it wasn't before police found Hannah's mother, Christina, bound, gagged and beaten to death along with her 8-year-old son Ethan in their torched home. DiMaggio reportedly killed the pair, and then picked up Hannah from cheerleading practice -- an errand that he was entrusted to do by the Andersons, according to the New York Daily News. But instead of taking her home, he put a gun to her head and said he was taking her to Idaho.

Anderson was reunited with her father after the tense rescue. Now 17 years old, she returned to high school and is due to graduate with honors, according to ABC News. She plans to study forensics and criminology in college.

"The entire Anderson family is eternally grateful to all of the individuals who helped rescue Hannah," family spokesperson Stacy Hess told ABC. "And especially to the good men and women of the FBI who have clearly influenced her career aspirations."

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BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Hannah Anderson Breaks Her Silence Online
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