Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, suggested a series of possible medical problems from gran mal seizures to a brain tumor to postpartum schizophrenia to explain what may have led to 2-year-old Caylee's death and her daughter's callous behavior.
Cindy and George Anthony, grandparents of Caylee, appeared in their first interview in over a year on the "Dr. Phil" Show today. During the first part of the two part interview, the couple described to Phil McGraw their marital troubles and Casey Anthony's behavior before and after Caylee went missing.
Casey Anthony was acquitted of daughter Caylee's murder and released from the Orange County Jail on July 17.
"I'm not making excuses for her. I want to find out what's wrong with Casey. I know that there's something wrong," Cindy Anthony said.
Casey Anthony's mother asked rhetorically how could "this caring young person who cared about everybody, loved kids and then all of a sudden something tragically happens to Caylee and Casey completely goes off the deep end?"
Casey Anthony's Mother Suggests Medical Reasons for Daughter's Behavior
Cindy Anthony said that her daughter's bizarre behavior during the time that Caylee was missing might be the result of gran mal seizures. During the time that Caylee was dead and was yet to be reported missing, the young mom partied at clubs, got a tattoo that read "Bella Vita" and spun a web of lies about her daughter's whereabouts.
Cindy Anthony raised the possibility of Casey Anthony suffering a seizure on the day Caylee died.
"I don't know if she had a seizure that day and blacked out," Cindy Anthony said.
Cindy Anthony said that her daughter's ex-fiancé Jesse Grund called 911 when she suffered a seizure in November 2007. She also claimed that her daughter suffered a seizure while she was home on bail in 2008.
"I don't know why she's having a seizure. Does she have a brain tumor, were the seizures caused by stress?" Cindy Anthony speculated to McGraw.
George Anthony did not comment or contribute to his wife's claims about the seizures during the interview.
Court documents from an interview Jesse Grund gave to investigators show that he did call 911 to report that Casey Anthony was having a seizure in November 2007. Cindy Anthony said her daughter was taken to a hospital, but doctors found no medical reason for her seizures. And someone familiar with Casey Anthony's time in jail told ABCNews.com that the Florida woman never suffered a seizure during her three years of incarceration.
Attorney Wendy Murphy, who has followed the case closely, said that Anthony's parents might be trying to create sympathy for their daughter.
"Last I read, she was the most hated person in America...She has nowhere to go but up in the eyes of public," Murphy said. "Her family, no matter what they think, ... they realize at this point that she could benefit from some sympathy."
Cindy Anthony admitted to McGraw that she has a history of making excuses for her 25-year-old daughter. Both she and George Anthony told McGraw that they noticed a change in their daughter after Caylee was born in August 2006.
"Looking back now, I'm almost wondering if she didn't develop post partum schizophrenia or some issue after her pregnancy, a hormonal type of illness," Cindy Anthony said.
George Anthony took a harsher stance when reflecting on his daughter's behavior, saying that she played him and his wife like fools with her lies and by stealing money from them. Casey Anthony even stole from her grandmother, they said.
Casey Anthony Did Not Want Father to Return to House
"The last one I saw Caylee with was Casey, but we didn't see her for all those days, all those weeks," he said referring to the 31 days while Caylee was dead, but Casey pretended the daughter was with friends or a babysitter.
"To me, in my mind, one and one adds up to two. She's responsible for Caylee. She's her daughter …and Casey is responsible for Caylee no matter where she was at or what happened," he said.
George Anthony admitted that he can't rule out that his daughter might have rode around with a dead Caylee in her trunk.
"Some parts of me do believe that she was possibly back there," he said.
Prosecutors claimed that Casey Anthony's car smelled of death and that a strand of Caylee's hair was in the trunk along with high levels of chloroform.
The couple agreed that their daughter seemed eerily calm when she first told them Caylee was missing on July 15, 2008. Cindy Anthony grew emotional recounting when she overheard Casey Anthony tell her brother, Lee Anthony, that a nanny had taken Caylee. That nanny, Zanny, would turn out to be a fictional character that was part of Casey Anthony's web of lies.
"I just screamed at her and I wanted to go choke her and hit her and I just went over there and I punched the bed as hard as I could to get the anger out…I ran out of that room and I called 911 again," Cindy Anthony said.
The couple said they were so upset with their daughter when they first discovered Caylee had been missing for 31 days that they pondered having the police take Casey Anthony into custody just so they wouldn't have to stay in the same house with her.
"I had talked to the sergeant in charge to see if they could just take her into custody and then when I saw the handcuffs on her…my heart was breaking…I didn't want to see my daughter taken to jail," Cindy Anthony said.
The couple also described how their marital problems may have influenced their daughter. George Anthony said that the two were separated and on the verge of divorce from November 2005 to June 2006. He said that he had gotten heavy into online gambling and spent $30,000 of the family's money.
"When I found out, it was like a huge betrayal. We had been married nearly 25 years at the time and to find out that he was kind of leading a different life…at the time it was a huge slap in my face," Cindy Anthony said.
When George Anthony moved back in, Casey Anthony grew upset.
"It was a big effect. Everybody felt let down by their dad and kind of betrayed and the thing that hurt Casey the most was he wanted us to sell the house...and she felt he was kicking Casey and Caylee out," Cindy Anthony said.
George Anthony said that he grew suspicious of his daughter's behavior, but reprimanding her was difficult because of their fragile relationship.
"She would borrow money from me or take money from me," he said. "She was stealing gas from my gas can outside in my shed to keep her car going."
"I confronted Casey when things didn't add up in my mind…if I would have come across heavy handedly…I probably would have pushed her farther and farther away from me," he said.
Cindy Anthony said she became tougher on her daughter after she discovered that Casey Anthony had stolen money from her grandmother in early 2008.
"I said I'm not taking your daughter away from you, I could…I need you to straighten yourself out," Cindy Anthony said.
The second part of Cindy and George Anthony's interview with McGraw airs Wednesday.