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Family of man who kidnapped California teen says he may be her father

Rescued kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson (C), 16, is escorted into a local restaurant in Lakeside, California, August 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mik
Rescued kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson (C), 16, is escorted into a local restaurant in Lakeside, California, August 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mik

(Reuters) - The family of a man authorities say abducted a California girl after killing her mother and brother is claiming the kidnapper was the biological father of the two children, according to a news report.

James DiMaggio allegedly kidnapped Hannah Anderson, 16, and took her into the Idaho wilderness, where police rescued her after shooting and killing him earlier this month.

Family spokesman Andrew Spanswick told KGTV-TV in San Diego that they have requested DNA tests they believe will prove that DiMaggio, a close friend of the Anderson family, was the father of Hannah and her 8-year-old brother Ethan.

"We are requesting DNA samples from Hannah and anything they can get from Ethan," Spanswick told the TV station Tuesday. "There are rumors that Jim was the children's real father ... We think it's strange he left them so much money with no explanation."

On Monday, Spanswick said that DiMaggio left a $112,000 life insurance policy to Hannah's grandmother, Bernice Anderson.

The body of Hannah's mother, Christina Anderson, was found in DiMaggio's burned out garage on August 4. San Diego's medical examiner confirmed she died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Ethan's badly burned body was found in another part of DiMaggio's home, although authorities have yet to release a cause of death for the boy.

Spanswick said the money was intended for Hannah and Ethan, and that DiMaggio made their grandmother the beneficiary of his policy in 2011.

DiMaggio was a longtime friend of Christina and Brett Anderson and was the best man at their wedding. Authorities have yet to give any reason why DiMaggio would have killed Christina Anderson and her son, and kidnapped Hannah.

A spokeswoman for Spanswick on Wednesday said he declined to confirm for Reuters the comments he made to KGTV.

"He's busy in meetings in New York," spokeswoman Cathy Griffin told Reuters.

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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