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Memorial service for Hannah Anderson's mom, brother to be public

Hannah Anderson arrives at a fundraiser to help cover the Anderson family funeral costs on Aug. 15.
Hannah Anderson arrives at a fundraiser to help cover the Anderson family funeral costs on Aug. 15.Howard Lipin / Zuma Press

This weekend's memorial service for kidnapped teen Hannah Anderson's mother and brother will be open to the public, it was announced Tuesday — and the church is bracing for an overflow crowd.

Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church in Santee, Calif., where Hannah's parents are parishioners, is expecting a thousand or more mourners and is prepping the parking lot to accommodate those who can't fit inside on Saturday morning, a church employee said.

Christina Anderson, 44, and her 8-year-old son Ethan were murdered Aug. 3 by family friend James Lee DiMaggio, who rigged his house to burst into flames and abducted 16-year-old Hannah, authorities say.

San Diego police said Tuesday they will not reveal a possible motive for the double murder and kidnapping because they don't want to "victimize her a second time."

“Hannah is a minor, and we have to bear in mind that anything we say, anything we do, anything we write is going to stay with her the rest of her life,” Jan Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, told NBC San Diego.

Although secrecy surrounds the investigation, new details about the case have emerged:

  • DiMaggio used a timer to set the fire at his Boulevard, Calif., log-cabin home, where authorities then discovered the bodies of Christina, who was killed by a blow to the head, and Ethan.
  • After DiMaggio hit the road with Hannah, his Nissan Versa was caught on camera at a Border Patrol checkpoint hours before firefighters were called to the home. "We knew he had about a 20-hour head start on us," Caldwell said.
  • DiMaggio named Hannah's paternal grandmother as beneficiary of his $112,000 insurance policy, said his family's spokesman, Andrew Spanswick.

DiMaggio, 40, was shot dead in the Idaho wilderness where he and Hannah had camped out for several days until four horseback riders who encountered them in the back country tipped off police.

After being rescued unhurt, Hannah was reunited with her father, Brett, and has since appeared at two fundraisers for her family and answered some questions about the ordeal on a social-media site.