UPDATE 12/13/08 – I’ve been told that the hair on the recovered body is a visual match for Caylee’s hair under a microscope. The bone measurements are also correct for Caylee, so it’s just about certain that these remains are hers. More details at the bottom of the article.
Orlando, FL (December 11, 2008) - The search for 2-year-old Caylee Anthony may be over. At about 9:30 this morning, a utility worker who was working near the Anthony home walked into a wooded area to relieve himself. As he walked through the hilly, wet grass, the man stumbled across a trash bag which was held together with duct tape. When the man opened the bag, the skull of a small child rolled onto the ground. Inside the bag was the rest of the child’s body. Caylee Anthony, 2, has been missing since approximately June 16, but was not reported missing until July 15.
We are watching this story break and will continue to bring you updates as we have them. Right now, we are hearing that there is a search warrant being issued for Anthony home. Dr. Jan Garavaglia, better known as “Dr. G: Medical Examiner” from The Health Channel, is reportedly at the scene. As Chief Medical Examiner of Orange County, she will be responsible for the processing of the remains. The body appears to be that of a little girl and is reported to be mostly skeletonized. DNA is already being processed to confirm the identity of the body as Caylee Anthony.
The body was found in an area that had, until recently, been under water. In September, Tim Miller and EquuSearch were not able to get to the site due to flooding, and in November, when EquuSearch returned, the site had been fenced off. The site is about a quarter mile from the Anthony’s home. If this body is Caylee’s, it suddenly makes sense that Casey Anthony kept telling her mother that “Caylee’s close by, I can feel it.”
Casey Anthony’s reaction to today’s find has been very different from past possible Caylee discoveries. Several weeks ago, when it was reported that bones were found in a bag in a river, Casey reacted by returning to her cell with no emotion. That find was quickly debunked. Today, however, Casey is reported to be in hysterics, having panic attacks, and has apparently been given sedatives to calm her down. That’s quite a change from the stoic, nonplussed reaction the media has seen from Casey at other times. Sounds telling to me.
George and Cindy Anthony, Casey’s parents and Caylee’s grandparents, are on their way home from a Larry King Live taping in California. Apparently Lee Anthony and his girlfriend Mallory were house-sitting for the elder Anthonys when deputies arrived at the home this morning. The Anthony family will not be let into the house while it is being searched as a crime scene.
It is not yet certain that the body, which is mostly skeletal now, belongs to Caylee, but it seems likely that the remains are hers. Jose Baez has reportedly gone to the jail and met with Casey Anthony before heading off to file an injunction seeking to preserve evidence and allow the defense to conduct its own independent testing. Just this morning Baez has asked for a change of venue in Casey’s upcoming murder trial and been granted a continuance. The trial was originally scheduled to begin on January 5 but is now being put off until March. A hearing is scheduled for January 15.
Update 12/12/08 - Overnight, a search warrant was executed at the Anthony home. Among items removed were seven large paper bags and four boxes of evidence. They also seized four vacuum cleaners and two pesticide tanks. Sheriff Kevin Beary says that items were taken from the Anthony home that are consistent with items found with the body.
Update 12/13/08 - In an emergency court hearing yesterday, Jose Baez was denied his request to have his own experts at autopsy. My source tells me that the autopsy is finished pending some lab work and, of course, DNA, which is being rushed through and should be back as early as next week. However, the bone measurements and hair are a match for Caylee by visual inspection. And hair is very distinctive under a microscope, so it’s all over but the “yes” on the DNA. We’ll keep you updated as we get information.