Teen: Kidnap Suspect Had Crush on Victim - NBC 7 San Diego

Teen: Kidnap Suspect Had Crush on Victim

Investigators are stepping up efforts in the search for a San Diego man accused of murder, kidnap and arson and the teenager who is believed to have been abducted



    Friends closest to Hannah Anderson say James Lee DiMaggio became infatuated with the teenager and even admitted he had a crush on her.

    We tracked down another teenager who fears she may also have been the object of the suspect's desire.

    FBI agents and law enforcement authorities in five states are searching for DiMaggio, Hannah and her younger brother Ethan Anderson after the children's mother, Christina, was found dead in a Boulevard home along with an unidentified child.

    San Diego County sheriff's investigators invited another family DiMaggio befriended to this office for questioning Thursday evening.

    Teen: Kidnap Suspect Had Crush on Victim

    [DGO] Teen: Kidnap Suspect Had Crush on Victim
    Cassie Luongo told NBC 7 that not only did James Lee DiMaggio have a crush on abduction victim Hannah Anderson but Cassie believes he may have had feelings for her as well. NBC 7's Dave Summers reports.
    (Published Friday, Aug. 9, 2013)

    It wasn't the parents but what their children have to say about the suspect that interests them.

    Among the kids was 16-year-old Cassie Luongo who has a chilling story to tell.

    Before firefighters arrived neighbor Mike Luongo tried to put out the flames that consumed James DiMaggio's home, Christina Anderson and a child still unidentified.

    Mike and his wife Lori live less then a football field from the now suspected kidnapper and killer. They trusted DiMaggio for many years with their own kids.

    “Did Mr. DiMaggio ever make you uncomfortable?" she was asked. "Yes,” Cassie said.

    On Wednesday, Cassie told her mother of exchanges with DiMaggio that in hindsight now seem frightening.

    Cassie is a friend of Hanna, the missing El Capitan student who is the subject of an Amber Alert.

    When the Anderson kids visited DiMaggio's home so did the Luongo's.

    Sometimes the visits spanned overnight.

    “We went to bed and we locked the door . He got angry with us that we locked the door and he told us not to lock it,” Cassie said.

    That happened last April during the teenagers' spring break. That same night Cassie said DiMaggio lost his temper.

    “He said that he wanted to hang out with us and he got mad that we didn't want to go with him,” Cassie said.

    Cassie says DiMaggio never touched her or Hannah but he just seemed different from other adults .

    “He's nice but he was just kind of weird. I always got bad vibes from him. My mom would tell me to get a ride from him and I really didn't want too,” Cassie said.

    Cassie never mentioned those feelings to her parents until now.

    “I thought it was pretty weird but I didn't think it was a big deal until now," she told NBC 7.

    Cassie can't help thinking it could also be her in this Amber Alert.

    “I just want her home because I know he could be hurting her,” Cassie said.

    Sheriff's spokesperson Jan Caldwell says eight new FBI special agents have set up shop in the department's headquarters.

    Among other things they are experts in kidnapping, violent crime and child abduction.