UPDATE 7/29/08 – Well, Denizens of the Demon, we did it. We shattered posting and commenting records. We annihilated page view precedents. And …we broke our server! So, to fix it, we now have a new Caylee Anthony article: Where is Caylee Marie Anthony? Part II. It’s a continuation of this one with updates from here on. Comments on this article are now closed, so please follow the link to the new article and comment there. Thanks!
Caylee Marie Anthony and her mother, Casey Anthony
Orlando, FL (July 16) - Two-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony was last seen on June 9. But she wasn’t reported missing until last night. And Orange County investigators want to know why not. Tonight, Caylee’s mother Casey Anthony, 22, is in custody and being questioned about the disappearance of her daughter. Caylee’s maternal grandparents reported the toddler missing yesterday after Casey Anthony admitted to them that she had not seen her child in over a month. So where is Caylee?
Casey Anthony has spun quite the story for her parents and for investigators. She says that she left Caylee with a friend of hers, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, on Monday, June 9. Anthony says she dropped Caylee off at the Sawgrass Apartments in Orlando with Zenaida, who was supposed to babysit, but somehow lost track of both the sitter and her two-year-old for weeks on end.
Problem is, so far, police have been unable to locate Zenaida or even prove that she exists. The apartment where Anthony says she left her daughter a month ago has been vacant – for five months. Anthony’s timeline is “of interest”, say investigators, and while they initially stopped short of calling Casey Anthony a suspect, her lack of interest in her daughter’s whereabouts, her emotionless responses during interviews, and her ginormous stack of lies all lead in one direction.
The lies didn’t stop – or start – with the apartment. Casey Anthony’s parents last saw their grandchild when Casey took Caylee and moved out of their home well over a month ago. They’d call Casey, asking to see their adored grandbaby. Were Casey and Caylee all right, at least? Casey Anthony always said yes, always said that she had Caylee with her. They were living with friends. Everything was fine. For more than a month, Casey Anthony lied to her parents. That story fell apart on July 15, when Cindy and George Anthony confronted their daughter and reported Caylee missing to police.
At that point, Casey Anthony’s story changed to the “Zenaida” one. She said that when she went back to get her child on June 9, she wasn’t there. But instead of calling police or her parents, she “did her own investigation”, going to clubs where “Zenaida” was known to hang out. Why? Because she’d seen movies where kids got killed if the police were called. Yeeeaaahhhh.
Anthony also told police that she worked at Universal Studios Florida. She gave them her bosses’ name and number, even. I don’t know what she thought they were gonna do with that besides check it out, but as it turned out, Anthony was fired from that job in 2006 and hasn’t held a job since. And two of Casey’s friends told investigators that Anthony would say Caylee was at a theme park or the beach when they asked about her in recent weeks.
Caylee is two and a half years old. She is Caucasian, with light brown shoulder-length hair and hazel eyes. She is approximately three feet tall and weighs about 35 pounds. Because of the timeline concerns, it’s not even certain that June 9 was when she was last seen.
Casey Anthony was arrested today and is being held at the Orange County Jail without bond pending further investigation. Currently, she is charged with child neglect and obstructing an investigation by lying to law enforcement officers. Here’s the .pdf link to the arrest report, which is quite the interesting read. One boyfriend is listed as Ricardo Morales. A newer boyfriend, who contacted police and has been cooperative, was named as Anthony Lazzaro. He says Casey told him her daughter, who he met once on June 2, was always “with the nanny”.
I’m obliged here to report that if you’ve seen Caylee with or without her mother, you should call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office or the Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477. Sadly, the signs all point to “gave baby away”, “sold baby for meth”, “got new boyfriend, no longer need child” or “killed baby in a fit of drug-fueled rage over (insert toileting or other issue here)”.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope “Zenaida” took the baby to the Bahamas for a fun-filled holiday and forgot to call. But somehow, I just don’t think that’s the case.
July 17 - A judge has denied bond for Casey Anthony this morning. Orange County Judge John Jordan told Casey, “You left your 2-year-old child with a person who does not exist at an apartment you cannot identify and you lied to your parents about your child’s whereabouts. You cared so little about your child.”
Sounds like they’re gonna hold her until they find Caylee, or until she cracks. I hope so.
UPDATE July 22 – Cindy Anthony is one of the most annoying witnesses ever. However, she has listed this guy – Jesse Grund (www.myspace.com/jesse4) as the man she believes is Caylee’s father. Interesting. Cindy Anthony says that now, the last time she saw Caylee – and took video – was on June 15. She states she left the house on the morning of June 16 and Casey and Caylee were there. She says from June 16 to July 15, she did not see Caylee or talk to her. She says she did talk to Casey or have text or IM communication every day. Casey told Cindy that she was in Jacksonville on vacation with a man named Jeff Hopkins.
Cindy Anthony further says that she “will not handcuff” Casey anywhere, but will provide people to sit with Casey. Grandma Cindy is under cross about the stuff she spewed at the national media. She says she knows that the only reason Casey would be withholding information is because she “believes” Casey is being threatened. There is a dispute between Cindy Anthony and Det. Cpl. Yuri Melich, in which Mrs. Anthony told Melich she didn’t like his investigation and if he didn’t change his tactics, the Anthonys would no longer cooperate.
As the hearing continues, all kinds of interesting stuff comes out. A tip from a hairdresser has also come in alleging physical abuse of Caylee. There is also an unrelated photo showing bruising to Caylee’s eye. Casey’s family states that Casey never abused Caylee. Casey’s abandoned car does, in fact, have evidence of human decomposition inside it. Right now, Deputy Forgey, whose dog alerted on the car is on the stand detailing the dog alerts on Casey’s car and the spots from the Anthony’s backyard, where no body was found but where, it appears, some kind of human decomposition odor was present. At this point, it appears that they are looking at the possibility that Caylee is dead. In fact, Casey has now been called a “person of interest” in a “possible homicide investigation”.
Judge Stan Strickland has ordered a psychological evaluation to determine competence. Strickland says “the truth and Miss Anthony are strangers”. Casey Anthony’s bond is set at $500,000 plus GPS, forfeiture of any passport she might have, and can reconsider the bond at a later date if the situation arises.
UPDATE 7/24/08 – Casey Anthony’s $500,000 bond has been changed to include home confinement with electronic monitoring rather than GPS monitoring. Attorney Jose Baez is appealing the bond, saying it is “outrageous” and the Anthonys can’t pay it. This evening, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has released two 911 calls made by Cindy Anthony on July 15 – one at 8:44 p.m., the other at 9:41 p.m. In the first call, Cindy tried to have Casey arrested for theft and mentions that Caylee is missing. In the second call, Cindy is crying and says that Casey’s car “smells like there was a dead body in it.” Download the calls here. As usual, I’ll update as new information becomes available.