TODAY

TODAY   |  October 10, 2013

Hannah Anderson on kidnap: ‘I couldn’t do anything’

Kidnap survivor Hannah Anderson describes her ordeal for the first time, telling TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie that James Lee DiMaggio handcuffed her, zip-tied her feet, and made her play Russian roulette before drugging her and taking her to Idaho.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> two months since san diego teenager hannah anderson was kidnapped by the man police say killed her mother and younger brother . she is now back at school and leaning heavily on family and friends for support. earlier, i spoke down with her and her father. first, hannah 's story. at first glance, hannah anderson looks like any other 16-year-old girl, spending time with friends, cheerleading, dancing, a week in august changed hannah 's life forever. on a saturday afternoon, james dimaggio , a close family friend picked up hannah at cheer leading camp saying her mother, tina and brother ethan were waiting for her at his house but dimaggio had other plans, kidnapping hannah and forcing her to go to idaho . using a timer, dimaggio sent his house on fire when he and hannah were hours away. authorities found two brothers later identified as her mother and brother and issued an amber aall right across the faegs.

>> she is in danger. she's a dangerous man.

>> a week laid later in idaho , in an area known as the point of no return. a group of horse riders came into them and felt something wasn't right.

>> it was like a square pelg that fit into a round hole, it didn't fit.

>> reporter: tactical riders came into a shootout.

>> she was under extreme duress from the time she left boulevard to the time she was recovered at lakemoorhead, idaho .

>> back home in san diego , hannah 's family has asked for privacy, speculation remains about her relationship with dimaggio and what really happened during that week long ordeal. hannah anderson , good morning to you.

>> hello.

>> how are you doing today?

>> good.

>> are you ready to talk about this and tell the story?

>> yeah.

>> let's talk about that saturday. you were at cheer leading camp?

>> yeah, my mom dropped me off. then he came to pick me up because my mum and brother's game already finished. so they were going to meet me up there at his house is the plan.

>> so you get in the car, where do you go and at what point did you realize something is really wrong?

>> when we got to his house and my mom's car wasn't there.

>> did he say something that let you know he had some pretty bad plans?

>> when i got into the house , he handcuffed me and zip tied my feet. he told me that he was going to kidnap me and take me to idaho where my intention was just to carry his backpacks to the river and that he was going to live there and he'd get me home afterwards.

>> did he say anything about where your mom and brother were?

>> he told me my brother was in the garage and ethan was upstairs and that the whole time that they were alive, the whole time that i didn't know.

>> did you feel in fear of your life?

>> yeah. when we got into the house , after he told me the plan, he made me play russian roulette with him sitting on the couch and that --

>> with a real gun?

>> yeah. and when it was my turn i started crying and like was freaking out and he said, do you want to play? i said, "no. "i started crying. then he was like, okay, he stopped.

>> how long do you think you were at the house ?

>> from what i remember about two or three hours and then he drugged me and i was out and then i woke up in idaho .

>> when you say he drugged you, do you know what kind of drugs?

>> we believe he gave me ambien.

>> there was a time in the house i thought you heard your brother?

>> yeah, i heard him trying to yelp upstairs. but he was gakleak like gagged. i couldn't do anything.

>> he was restraining you.

>> yes.

>> the next thing you know, are you if idaho . can you tell me what happened next?

>> i woke up, i asked, where is mom and etan the first thing i asked. and he said, they're both in the garage tied up in my house . it's supposed to set on fire at 7:00. and then he said i put signs on the garage to help them be safe from the firefighters before the fire reached the garage .

>> you are telling this story solely for the first time. there are lots of graphic details. we are not going to get into them. did you ever feel at any of that time you had a moment where maybe i could make a run for it?

>> yeah, there was actually a lot. like the horseback riders , but he did threaten me that if i ever tried to run or if i had someone help me that he'd kill me and them.

>> there came a time as the week went on where you came across these four hikers.

>> i remember hearing them come behind us the first time and jim would say, don't, act normal. if you say something, i'm going to have to kill them. so i'd have to sit and act normal. and they'd come up and look at us and we would be quiet but jim would talk to them and then they'd left.

>> well, as we now know, those hikers were suspicious. they saw the amber alert , they called the authorities. the authorities found you and confronted jim .

>> mm-hmm.

>> what do you remember about that moment?

>> i was on the ground in front of the fire. he was trying to start a fire to signal for help. then all of a sudden the fire wasn't working. so i told him, i said i'd rather not if you fire the gun in the air three times, it means sos. he fired once, he fired at this time second time and lowered it. then a bunch of guns went off. i looked and he fell on the ground. i looked over, i said, are you okay? then a bunch of fbi people came out telling me to get down.

>> when did you realize? this is it? this is my rescue?

>> when they pulled me aside and had a blanket over me and making sure i was okay, making sure the hock was coming for me