Footnotes on Losing Hanna 

These are the footnotes for the article "Losing Hanna."

To read the story, click here.

1. The man, who asked that his name be withheld, described the incident in a July 2005 interview with CL. Earlier interviews with his brother, who lives next door, and with other neighbors confirmed that he saw the girl. During the interview, the man said, "It gets kinda dark fast. It was almost getting to the point where you couldn't really make it out that much, as far as getting a clear view. ... It was a Nissan pickup truck. Not too many cars come through here. It was kind of slowing down. And that's when I heard a door open. And then I heard a 'thump' noise. ... And I go, 'Wow, this guy must have dropped off some trash or something.' ... He turned around. ... When I'd first seen her, ... the truck went by, and the truck's lights hit [her]. ... The guy kind of slowed down. He looked at me. ... I remember him staring at [her]."

2. Observations about the neighborhood stem from a May 2005 visit to Santa Ana, as well as from conversations with residents of Morse Drive.

3. Of the six neighbors contacted by CL, none say they recognized the girl. In January 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported that investigators canvassed the neighborhood and "nobody seems to have known" who she was.

4. Cheryl Montagu's arrival in Maine was described by her mother, Maxine Coffland, and by Hanna's stepmother, Christine Montessori, who was there. Cheryl declined comment for this story.

5. Cheryl later would describe her troubles with Hanna to the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. "Hanna became out of control so [Cheryl] sent her to live with her father," according to a log kept by Hanna's DFACS case manager. All DFACS documents were obtained through the state Open Records Act.

6. Hanna's suspensions and several fights with her mother are described in DFACS documents. Both Maxine and Kelly Coffland, Hanna's aunt, described to CL Hanna's behavior with family members.

7. According to Maxine.

8. According to Christine and DFACS documents.

9. Details and photos of Cheryl and Phillip's wedding were shared by Maxine.

10. The inheritance money was described in DFACS records and by Maxine. Details about the family's visits to Georgia were expressed by Maxine.

11. Observations about Hanna's childhood home stem from a March 2005 visit to Maine.

12. According to Christine Montessori, as well as statements Phillip Montessori made to DFACS officials.

13. According to Maxine Coffland and DFACS documents.

14. Hanna's flashes of anger and the times she snuck out the house were described by Maxine, by Hanna's friend Otis Jefferson, and in statements Cheryl made to DFACS.

15. Hanna's friends Otis, in Georgia, and Melody Richards, in Maine, describe Hanna as being distraught by her parents' divorce. According to DFACS documents: "Hanna started being disobedient after her and Mr. Montessori split up. Hanna didn't want her mother dating other people."

16. The incidents at the Waffle House were described by Maxine.

17. All conversations between Maxine and Hanna were reconstructed over the course of six interviews with Maxine dating from January to July 2005. Dialogue was recalled by Maxine at least twice and was consistent from recollection to recollection.

18. According to Maxine and Christine.

19. The experiences of Melody and Hanna were described during a January 2005 phone interview with Melody and a March 2005 visit with Melody in Maine.

20. Observations made during a March 2005 visit to Maine.

21. According to Christine.

22. Photos provided by Melody and Christine.

23. Melody recalled the conversation, and Otis confirmed it in a June 2005 interview.

24. During a March 2005 visit to the bridge, the inscription was still there.

25. Maxine's description of Hanna's journey back to Georgia was confirmed by Christine and in DFACS documents.

26. Christine confirmed that the fight occurred. Otis also told CL that Hanna described the fight to him. DFACS documents state that Hanna's father "was unable to control her so he put her on a bus back to Georgia."

27. According to a DFACS document dated Aug. 15, 2003, Hanna "stated she has not spent one night with her [mother] since being back in Georgia" and "said does not want to live at the home because [her mother's boyfriend] lives there." Both Maxine and Otis told CL that Hanna had told them prior to Aug. 15 that she didn't want to live with her mother's boyfriend. In an interview, Kenny Coffland confirmed that Hanna lived with him from July through mid-August.

28. According to Otis.

29. In DFACS documents, Otis is listed as Hanna's boyfriend. In interviews, Otis, Melody, Maxine and Kenny described Hanna's feelings for Otis, as well as the fact that he viewed her only as a friend.

30. According to Maxine, Kenny and Kelly. Kelly was hospitalized staring on Aug. 8, 2003.

31. According to DFACS documents, "[Hanna] stated that whenever [sic.] her [mother] came to get her from her uncle's home, [she] said that she did not want to go. She stated, however, that she did get back into the vehicle with her [mother]." The documents then describe the fight.

32. According to interviews DFACS conducted with Cheryl and Hanna's younger brother.

33. The allegations of sexual abuse are described in DFACS documents and in Henry County Juvenile Court documents filed by DFACS in order to have Hanna removed from her mother's custody.

34. According to an interview between DFACS officials and Cheryl.

35. According to DFACS documents, "[Cheryl] immediately stated that she has contacted [Henry County Police] several times in regards to [Hanna's] behavior. She stated that yesterday the D.A.'s office called regarding some unruly charges that she had filed against [Hanna]. ... [Cheryl] stated that the reason she filed unruly charges was because [Hanna] left without ... permission. ... [Cheryl] stated [Hanna] has had a lot of problems including being suspended from school several times. ... She stated that when [Hanna] could not do well in school ..., she then told [Hanna] that she needed to go to Maine. ... She stated that [Hanna's father] told her that [Hanna] was very disrespectful and was cursing him. [She] stated that she had to deal with the same behaviors."

36. According to an interview between DFACS officials and Cheryl.

37. According to an interview between DFACS officials and Hanna's brother.

38. According to an interview between DFACS officials and Cheryl's boyfriend.

39: According to DFACS documents.

40. Otis described Hanna's visit during a June 2005 interview with CL.

41. In interviews with CL, both Kenny and Maxine describe how the family alerted police to Hanna's possible whereabouts.

42. The court proceedings are Maxine's recollection. Transcripts of juvenile court hearings are not public.

43. According to DFACS documents.

44. DFACS documents state that the staff at Another Chance contacted the Cobb County Police Department. An incident report on Hanna's runaway, obtained through the state Open Records Act, confirms this.

A DFACS spokesman told CL in January that the agency doesn't place any additional restrictions on children who have run away from the agency in the past: "As far as any heightened risk, there's not extra attention paid to someone who runs away."

45. Otis described Hanna's phone calls during an interview with CL.

46. In the 300 pages of DFACS documents CL examined, there is no indication that DFACS shared Maxine's information with law enforcement or missing persons databases. A DFACS spokesman told CL the agency has no obligation to share that information with law enforcement.

47. Hanna's conversation with her older brother was described to CL by Christine. In an April 22, 2004, Portland Press Herald article, Hanna's brother described the call.

48. Kelly described the phone calls in an interview with CL.

49. In an interview with CL, Otis said, "I got a phone call from the same number she was calling me from. It was a whole bunch of static. I swear I could hear her. ... It was real messed up."


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