U.S. Marshal who spotted Hannah Anderson, James DiMaggio talks to 23ABC's affiliate

SAN DIEGO - A supervisor with San Diego's Fugitive Task Force spoke only with 10News, 23ABC's Scripps affiliate in San Diego, on Monday night to reveal the moment he spotted Hannah Anderson alive in the Idaho wilderness and the mission that followed to bring her home safe.

At about 7 a.m. Saturday morning in Idaho, members of law enforcement met and strategized.

Steve Jurman, a supervisor with the San Diego Fugitive Task Force told 10News, "There's always a lot of speculation, but it's always best to start with where they were very last seen."

That is exactly where Jurman and two more agents from the Idaho district went: Morehead Lake, which is about 70 miles away from Boise.

At about 10 a.m., going off details provided by Mark John and three other horseback riders who happened to pass James DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson, the U.S. Marshals hopped in a plane and scoured the area.

"It was extremely rugged and remote terrain, so we circled the lake a few times and didn't see anything," said Jurman.

Undaunted, they kept circling the lake. About 45 minutes later, they saw something.  

"All of a sudden, there was a little glimmer of blue we saw in the trees," said Jurman. "It was about 100 yards off of the lake. It was really the needle in the haystack that we had been searching for, and then we were able to verify that it was a male and a female with blonde hair and a small animal."

Jurman then called the FBI and mobilized the Hostage Rescue Team.

"We definitely were not going to take our eyes off of that tent until we had it covered by ground units," he said.

But that would take some time. Because Hannah and DiMaggio were located so quickly, the officers at the command center were not quite prepared. Everyone was expecting a long, extensive search.

At about 12:15 p.m. rescuers were mobilized. From the air, Jurman watched DiMaggio and Hannah's every move.

"It appears they were going about their normal activities," he said. "They gathered firewood and walked around. They were the only ones in that area."

At 4:22 p.m., DiMaggio was shot and killed. Hannah was alive and whisked away to safety in a helicopter.

"It was like a weight lifted off of everybody's shoulders," said Jurman. "It's a good feeling. It makes my job worthwhile."

He, too, is a father.

"I could easily close my eyes and put myself in her father's situation," Jurman said. "It makes me sad for him and a little bit angry but that's the type of thing that motivates us and really drives to go out and help people. There are monsters that need to be taken off the street and in this case there was a little girl that needed to be saved. And that's our motivation. That's why we do this job."

Jurman said he did not sleep well Saturday night after finding Hannah. He said coming home to his family on Sunday was "an especially emotional and gratifying homecoming for me."

Print this article Back to Top