Did Casey Anthony murder her daughter?
There will always be a few cases that we just can’t let go of: OJ Simpson, the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, JonBenet Ramsey, and, of course, Casey Anthony. With over 10 years passed, you would think we would have moved on from Casey Anthony and the death of her daughter Caylee. However, when it comes to justice unserved, the story stays stuck in our minds.
When Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her daughter in 2011, the world wondered what would become of the 25-year-old. Would Casey Anthony now disappear? Or would she live the rest of her life harassed by those who still felt she had killed her two-year-old daughter in 2008? Here’s everything we know about Casey Anthony back then, and now.
Casey Anthony’s web of lies
One truth of Casey Anthony’s case that, even now, is still undisputed is that she was full of lies around the whereabouts of both Caylee and herself. In fact, that’s why the story of Caylee’s murder always begins with who else saw Caylee last, not when Casey saw Caylee last.
Casey Anthony’s father, George Anthony, was the last known person to see Caylee. He said that Casey left the family home in Orlando, Florida on June 16th, 2008, taking Caylee with her. Casey wasn’t seen by her parents again for 31 days. Caylee was never seen again.
Over the course of that month, Casey Anthony’s mother, Cindy, asked to see Caylee repeatedly, and Casey always put Cindy off, claiming she was busy with a work assignment, that Caylee was with her nanny, or that they were out at a theme park or the beach.
On July 15th, 2008, George and Cindy Anthony received news that their car, which Casey had been driving, had been sitting in an impound lot for two weeks. Immediately upon arriving at the car, both George and Cindy were struck by the overwhelming smell of death coming from the vehicle’s trunk, to the point where they were afraid of what they would find upon opening it.
When they did finally open the vehicle, they only found a bag of garbage. The discovery of the car led Cindy to call the police about not seeing Caylee for almost a month. Casey’s brother Lee Anthony also described the smell upon first encountering the car when it returned to the Anthony home as “atrocious … it hit you like a wave.” Lee claims to have confronted Casey, who finally broke down and told him that she hadn’t seen Caylee in 31 days.
After Casey Anthony’s arrest, her mother explained the smell in the car as a rotting pizza with maggots. Investigators said they uncovered traces of human decomposition, chloroform and Caylee’s DNA in the trunk.
Casey had spent the first two weeks of her 31-day disappearance telling friends that the stench in the car came from everything from an animal she ran over, to an animal her father ran over, to two squirrels who climbed up under the hood and died.
Casey Anthony’s lies only deepen
The search for Caylee Anthony never had anywhere to go beyond Casey, because Casey Anthony just couldn’t get her story straight. First, she told investigators that Caylee had been kidnapped by Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, who she also identified as “Zanny”, Caylee’s nanny. Caylee didn’t have a nanny. Though Casey had frequently referenced a nanny to her family and friends, no one had ever seen or spoken with the nanny.
Casey also told investigators the same lie she had told her parents for years, that she worked at Universal Studios. Investigators brought Casey there to show them her office, and she wandered around aimlessly before admitting she had been fired years before.
Casey Anthony was arrested for obstruction of a criminal investigation, giving false statements to law enforcement, and child neglect on July 16th, 2008. Caylee’s body was found in a forested area by a meter reader. It was identified as Caylee Anthony on December 19th, 2008.
Casey Anthony’s trial
Casey Anthony’s trial for her daughter’s death lasted six weeks, beginning in May 2011. The prosecution alleged that Casey was done being a parent, and murdered her daughter by giving her chloroform and then duct-taping her mouth.
The defense claims that Caylee had drowned accidentally and that Casey’s father, George had disposed of her body. The also claimed that George Anthony sexually abused Casey, and that the prosecution’s evidence was all circumstantial. A physician called to give evidence at the trial was unable to provide an exact cause of death, and prosecutors were ultimately unable to link Anthony to the murder.
On July 5th, 2011, the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child. She was found guilty of the misdemeanors she was charged with on July 16th, 2008. Applying credit for time served, Casey Anthony was free on July 17th, 2011.
Where is Casey Anthony now?
For the 10 year anniversary of Caylee’s death in 2018, Casey Anthony did the press circuit. She gave interviews with the Associated Press, A&E, and more, capitalizing on her infamy. Casey Anthony now reveals that she stayed in South Florida, and was living with the lead private investigator on her defense team, Patrick McKenna, who she’s been romantically linked to, on and off.
Casey Anthony’s friend circle from 2008 has now shunned her, and her former roommate claims that none of them still keep in touch with Casey. Casey Anthony’s relationship with her parents has also suffered, as she and her father no longer speak after she brought allegations against him as part of her defense. Casey does still speak with her mother, Cindy.
Casey Anthony’s parents still disagree about the role their daughter had in their granddaughter’s death. In an A&E special Casey Anthony’s Parents Speak, they each clarify their theories. When journalist Elizabeth Vargas asks both George and Cindy if they believe Casey was involved in Caylee’s death, George answers, “Absolutely.” Cindy Anthony maintains that she believes Caylee drowned in the family pool and Casey didn’t know what to do, while George believes that Casey gave Caylee a sedative and the toddler just didn’t wake up.
Casey Anthony has now revealed that she is working on a movie entitled As I Was Told about her “turmoil” at being accused of murdering her daughter, and her failure to report her daughter’s disappearance. She says the movie will be released near the end of this year.