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"We are hoping. We're keeping the faith; our little girl is coming home." -- Sara Britt, grandmother

By Nadin Abbott

August 6, 2013 (Lakeside) A very emotional gathering of friends, classmates and residents of Hannah and Ethan Anderson met at El Capitan High School tonight in Lakeside  to hold a vigil for the missing children. Those present lit candles and at the end of the ceremony let balloons lose to signify hope.

The children were declared missing and a statewide Amber Alert was issued by the authorities for Hannah, 16, and her 8-year-old brother, Ethan, Monday. On Sunday night, the body of their mother, Christina Anderson, and an unidentified child’s body were found in a burned home in Boulevard. 

Authorities have stated that Christina Anderson was murdered. They have not identified the child’s body found. Police believe that one or both children have been abducted by James Lee DiMaggio, a friend of their mother.

Hannah turned 16 last week, according to her aunt, Jenifer Lewis.

Lewis told ECM that it’s been tough, but tonight “It’s love and you feel so much good energy.”  Nevertheless she is “having a hard time.”

Hannah grew up with Tina Anderson, her cousin, raised as if they were sisters, and they were separated by three years. She misses her niece a lot, she said, adding, “Everybody loves Hannah.”

As to James DiMaggio and why he did this, she said, “I have no idea.” She added that he was a good family friend who has been at family events, over the years. “They loved him, they went to visit him, like they always do....It’s the why, and that question will probably never be answered unless they catch him alive.”

ECM also talked with Sara Britt (photo, right), grandmother of Hannah and mother of Tina Anderson. She told ECM, “We are hoping. We are keeping the faith; our little girl is coming home.”

She asked others to pray for her granddaughter’s return. She was also thankful “for the support of family, friends and community.”

Sara Britt  said that if Hannah was watching on TV, “Just come home to us, funny bunny.” She also said of the experience, “It is like you see other families on TV. You can’t relate to, what they are going through.” She finished, “You’re numb.”

What this man took from them, was “my life, my heart, my little grandson, (she broke into tears) my daughter, our daughter,” but she declared, “My granddaughter is coming home.”

ECM also talked with Amerie Ramirez, a classmate of Hannah’s, who she has known since 8th grade. She wants Hannah “to come home safe, in one piece, without harm.”

Ramirez also told the family, that she hopes Hannah “will be the person she was when she gets back.”

Marlie Frisznel (photo,left, with friend) is one of the young organizers and emcee of tonight’s event. She told ECM that she has known Hannah for two years. As to how this has affected her, she recalled, “We danced together, and we got to know each other through dance.”

She has been deeply affected by this, since she saw Hannah last week and then her friend went missing all of a sudden.

Students and some family members also gave speeches.

One of Hanna’s relatives, a cousin, who did not want to talk to the media and had a hard time coming, told the audience in tears, “Hannah is my cousin, my baby cousin…please bring my cousin home.”

Brett Anderson (photo, right), also addressed the audience. He said that, he was “the father of Hannah and Ethan, the husband of Tina, this gentleman who was a friend of ours for a long time, has taken everything. Hannah will come back, and Ethan and Tina I love you both.” He thanked all for coming to support all of them, and told the audience, “God bless.”

Earlier Brett Anderson issued this message at the Sheriff's station, U-T San Diego reports. "

“Jim ... let my daughter go,” he said. “You’ve taken everything else.”

He told his daughter, “Hannah, if you have a chance, you take it, you run.”

At the vigil, ar classmate called the event an amazing thing, and said that people were coming together to ease other people’s pain.

After the speeches were over, friends and family let go of balloons and proceeded to light candles and listen to music. Soon people broke into small groups, and talked and remembered their friend.

For details of the Amber alert including descriptions and photos of the missing children, the suspect and his vehicle, a blue Nissan Vestra, click here.

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