A friend of the man police say is in the Idaho wilderness with a teen girl he kidnapped worries that the suspect might kill himself.
In an interview with HuffPost Crime, Andrew Spanswick — who’s known suspect James DiMaggio and his family for seven years — said that today is the anniversary of the suspect’s father’s suicide.
Police say DiMaggio was last spotted with his victim, 16-year-old Hannah Anderson, a few days ago by hikers in the Cascade area of Idaho. His car was found on the side of the road Friday.
Spanswick, a social worker who has worked with addicts for 22 years, says DiMaggio’s father was heavily addicted to methamphetamine and killed himself in the late 1990s. He worries for the safety of both DiMaggio and Anderson.
“Hopefully he’s not repeating mistakes and the trauma his parents brought on,” Spanswick said. “I hope he doesn’t kill himself today.”
He said any discussion about DiMaggio’s mindset is pure speculation. He said the kidnapping — as well as any involvement the man had in the San Diego fire that killed Anderson’s mom and brother — isn’t something DiMaggio was capable of.
Despite the drug and mental health problems in DiMaggio’s family, Spanswick said his old camping buddy wasn’t following the same path.
“All these accusations are out of character. It’s the reason why his family is so shocked,” Spanswick said.
He said DiMaggio hasn’t attempted to contact the family since he and Anderson disappeared on Sunday.
Police have said DiMaggio had an “unusual infatuation” with the teen, but her own father said he never saw strange behavior. Spanswick says DiMaggio lived near the family home. DiMaggio is accused of inviting 8-year-old Ethan and 44-year-old Christina Anderson to his home and then burning it to the ground. The family reportedly trusted him as a friend.
On Friday, police found the car that belonged to DiMaggio while investigating a tip that two horseback riders had spotted the pair on a trail several days ago. DiMaggio and Anderson were said to be in good condition, carrying the camping gear necessary for Idaho’s remote wilderness.
Spanswick said he doesn’t know why DiMaggio may have gone to Idaho. Though Spanswick and DiMaggio have camped together on several occasions, Spanswick doesn’t think the suspect’s in it for the long haul.
“He’s not a survivalist or anything — he’s not even that great of a camper,” Spanswick told HuffPost Crime. “He used to take guides on trails. He’s just a guy who liked camping.”
He added, “We don’t really know any motivations for what’s happening right now.”