Casey Anthony Trial: Defense Team Claims Caylee Anthony Drowned in Family Pool


Casey Anthony Murder Trial Begins

When Casey Anthony was finally tracked down by her mother and confronted with her lies, Cindy Anthony demanded to see her granddaughter.

At that point, "Casey Anthony comes up with a new and a better lie. Caylee was kidnapped by the babysitter, the babysitter that nobody has ever seen, that nobody has ever heard of," the prosecutor stated.

Anthony wore a white shirt with her long brown hair in a ponytail. At times she cried and shook her head as the prosecution depicted her as a party animal who lied to her parents repeatedly about the location of Caylee.

When the prosecution described how Caylee Anthony's decomposing body was found in December 2008, Anthony remained stone faced.

"The body of Caylee Anthony had been wrapped into a Winnie the Pooh blanket, stuffed into many garbage bags thrown into a littered swamp like she was just another piece of trash," the prosecutor said. "All that remained were scattered bones, remnants of clothes that she was wearing and pieces of the plastic bag that had entombed her."

When the prosecutor described the duct tape found on Caylee's body, with little hearts in a pattern, Casey Anthony shook her head.

"Caylee spent many months in that swamp, roots encircled the blanket, they encircled her hair, they wrapped themselves into the bags that she was in," the prosecutor said. "Duct tape covered the nose and mouth area of that tiny human skull. The duct tape was stuck in the hair indicating that Caylee's killer never intended that it be removed."

The most crucial piece of evidence for the prosecution is Anthony's 1998 Pontiac Sunfire. Forensic experts said the car's trunk tested positive for chloroform and decomposition.

Anthony listened as the prosecution described when her father picked up the Pontiac Sunfire after it had been towed.

"As they approach the vehicle, an overwhelming smell is emanating from it and it's coming from the trunk. George Anthony will tell you that he said a silent prayer that it was neither his daughter nor his granddaughter," said Drane-Burdick. "George Anthony got into that car, drove it home. When Cindy Anthony had her first contact with the car, her words to George Anthony were, 'Jesus, what died.'"

The car's smell prompted the family to contact the police about Caylee.

Caylee Anthony was missing for a month when her grandmother finally called 911 in the summer of 2008 to report her granddaughter's disappearance. In the call, she was alarmed about her daughter's car.

"I can't find my granddaughter. There's something wrong. I found my daughter's car today and it smelled like there's been a dead body in the damn car," said Cindy Anthony in the July 2008 call to police.

Two cadaver dogs detected the odor of human decomposition at a playhouse used by Caylee in the Anthony family's backyard. They also detected human decomposition in the trunk of Caylee's car. The prosecution said that one detective "found the highest concentration of chloroform that he's ever seen" in the cover of car's spare tire.

Also found in the trunk were pieces of Caylee Anthony's hair discolored at the root in a way that matches a decomposing human body, the prosecution claimed.

The prosecution coupled the car's forensic evidence with evidence that the desktop computer at the family home revealed Google searches about chloroform and neck strangulation nearly four months before Caylee disappeared.

Despite the car's forensic evidence, experts say the state doesn't have an air tight case against Anthony.

"There are so many pieces of strong evidence, but in a lot of them there seem to be strong evidence of reasonable doubt, too," said Richard Hornsby, a Florida lawyer who has blogged about the case.

There is no cause of death for Caylee. Her body wasn't found until December 2008, and by then it was too decomposed to determine how she died. The little girl's death was ruled a homicide of undetermined means by the medical examiner.

"The first thing you need for premeditated murder is how she died. The motive for killing her is somewhat weak," Hornsby said.

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