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Friend: Suspected Calif. abductor had crush on girl

ELLIOT SPAGAT Associated Press
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Athena Stewart lights a candle during a vigil for Hannah, 16, and Ethan, 8, Anderson Tuesday night, Aug. 6, 2013,  at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, Calif. (AP Photo/U-T San Diego, Sean M. Haffey)

Athena Stewart lights a candle during a vigil for Hannah, 16, and Ethan, 8, Anderson Tuesday night, Aug. 6, 2013, at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, Calif. (AP Photo/U-T San Diego, Sean M. Haffey)

LAKESIDE, Calif. (AP) — A friend of a missing Southern California girl says the suspected abductor told the girl he had a crush on her.

Marissa Chavez said Wednesday that she witnessed 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio tell the teen that he didn’t want the girls to think he was weird, but that if the 16-year-old were his age he’d want to date her.

Chavez says Hannah Anderson was unnerved by the comment, which came a couple of months ago when DiMaggio was driving the girls home from a gymnastics meet.

DiMaggio was like an uncle to Anderson and close with her parents.

The girl’s grandfather says his daughter visited DiMaggio to say goodbye because he was planning to move to Texas. The bodies of the mother and a child were found in DiMaggio’s burned home east of San Diego.

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