500 Pages of 'Circumstantial' Evidence in Casey Anthony Case

Heart-shaped stickers, eerie journal entry among "circumstantial" evidence.

February 19, 2009, 9:07 AM

Feb. 19, 2009 — -- Hundreds of pages of newly released evidence from prosecutors in the investigation into the murder of Florida toddler Caylee Anthony contribute to a growing body of circumstantial evidence against the child's mother, but reports on a key detail against Casey Anthony are being vigorously challenged by representatives of the jailed mom.

Anthony's representatives insisted that a seemingly damning diary entry prosecutors allege she penned was written before the child was even born -- not in 2008, as has been reported.

Calls to the prosecutor's office were not immediately returned.

In a diary passage entered into the case file and released this week, Caylee's mother wrote that she had, "no regrets ... just a bit worried ... I just hope that the end justifies the means."

A representative for Casey Anthony, Marti Mackenzie, told ABC News that the entry was written in 2003, before the Caylee was born.

That entry was among 500 pages of evidence Florida prosecutors released Wednesday in the case against Casey Anthony, who is accused of killing her daughter, 2-year-old Caylee.

"There's no slam-dunk in this evidence," former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett told "Good Morning America." "But there is some very circumstantial evidence."

Casey's journal entry was dated June 21, refers to Casey making the "right decision" but does not identify whether the entry is related to Caylee. Caylee Anthony reportedly was last seen on June 9, 2008 and reported missing several weeks later.

"I completely trust my own judgement and I knew that I made the right decision," the entry reads. "This is the happiest that I have been in a very long time. I hope that my happiness will continue to grow."

According to a report by Orange County Sheriff's detective Yuri Mellich, investigators found plastic bags and duct tape in the Anthony home that are "similar" to those found with Caylee's remains. Various kinds of heart-shaped stickers, like one police believe was stuck to duct tape found with the body, were also taken from Casey Anthony's room.

"Does that mean absolutely that the tape found is the same? No," Garrett said. "But it further points to Casey Anthony as the logical suspect."

In his report, Mellich is confident about Casey's alleged involvement.

"There has been no factual evidence to suggest that anyone besides Casey Anthony was the last one to be with Caylee when she was last seen alive... There is nothing to suggest that anyone but Casey Anthony is responsible for the death and disposal of Caylee Anthony," the report said.

Defense lawyers, on the other hand, said the state used "junk science" and point to the lack of fingerprints on the duct tape. That particular brand of duct tape, they said, is the most widely sold brand in the country.

"The state's forensic report on duct tape, plastic bags and other items is a one-sided law enforcement-generated report and is biased and speculative," defense spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie told reporters in an e-mail.

Frustrating, Curious Investigation Into Caylee Anthony's Disappearance

Casey Anthony was charged in October with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, who was reported missing a month after she disappeared in June. The child's remains were found Dec. 11, less than a quarter-mile from the home she shared with her mother and grandparents.

It all started,with a frantic emergency call from Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, back in mid-July.

On the tape, she is heard frantically telling emergency operators, "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." Casey Anthony then got on the phone and reported she may have a missing child.

Cindy Anthony later retracted that statement, saying that the smell in the car could have been from garbage.

As investigators would quickly learn, this would only the be first of many twists and story changes in the curious case.

CLICK HERE for a timeline of the case.

Lies, Half-Truths and Incomplete Information

Since their investigation was launched on July 15, some Orange County officers have become well acquainted with the frustrations of following leads based on incomplete information, half-truths and what one officer said were "smoke bombs."

In the original version of events, Caylee's mother reported her missing to police, saying she had dropped the child off at a babysitter's house on June 9. When she went to pick the child up, both the child and the baby sitter had disappeared.

Casey's parents both corroborated the story until a bond hearing on July 25 when Cindy Anthony said that the last time she saw the child was not on June 9, but on June 15, and that she had just been confused.

When police questioned Casey Anthony about her daughter prior to her arrest, they say Anthony misled them multiple times.

When she took police to the apartment where she said the babysitter, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, lived, they found that no one had lived in the apartment for five months.

At that time, lead investigator Yuri Mellich said, "I am not disregarding that this person may or may not exist, but Casey Anthony's friends and family have never met this person."

After an extensive search for Gonzalez, a woman with the same name came forward in September to tell authorities she had never met Casey or Caylee. Police cleared her of any involvement.

In a report released Wednesday, Mellich said that "after several months of investigation, detectives could find no one who has ever met, spoken with or seen any Zenaida Gonzalez who had cared for Caylee Anthony."

Casey also claimed to have worked for Universal Studios, but admitted later that that was not true.

Scientists found evidence of body decomposition and traces of chloroform in Casey Anthony's car trunk, according to forensics reports released in October.

Lab reports from the FBI found that a hair strand in the trunk showed "characteristics of apparent decomposition." The hair is "microscopically similar" to hair strands found on Caylee's brush, but the report said it could not conclusively say the hair in the trunk came from the missing girl.

Casey had been considered a "person of interest" in her daughter's disappearance since mid-July after police reported in a bond hearing that they believed they found that evidence of decomposition in the car.

But what unsettled investigator Carlos Padilla more than Anthony's imprecise information is her overall attitude.

"She has shown no emotion," Padilla told ABCNews in July. "That's unusual. At the time of the interviews ... she didn't seem concerned and that made this case much stranger."

"She spoke to deputies like she was talking about baseball. How do you get through to someone like that?" he added.

But Anthony revealed the entire range of emotion in videos of jailhouse conversations between her and her parents, which were released Dec. 5.

In the more than 300 minutes of video released by the Orange County Sheriff's Department, Casey Anthony is shown laughing, crying and growing frustrated with the investigation and her family's questions.

When her mother, Cindy Anthony, confronted her with lead Detective Yuri Mellich's suspicions that she had had something to do with Caylee's disappearance, her daughter dodged the issue.

"Yuri [Mellich] has it set in his mind. He thinks you've done something to Caylee," Cindy Anthony told her. At that point, her daughter got up and, when she returned, steered the conversation in a different direction.

Casey Anthony also said that she knows the conversations are being recorded and said, "there are things [she] directly needs to say" to each of her parents.

When gruesome details about the discovery of Caylee's remains were released in January, Casey's father, George Anthony, nearly committed suicide.