Missing Florida Toddler Spotted?
Child may have been seen days after mom said she disappeared.
July 21, 2008 — -- The lawyer for 22-year-old Florida mother Casey Anthony, whose daughter Caylee went missing last month, said at a press conference today that the 2-year-old girl may have been seen three to five days after June 9, the day her mother claims she went missing.
Jose Baez, Anthony's lawyer, also confirmed rumors that Anthony has claimed she received a phone call from her daughter last week. Baez offered no specific details on either claim, citing attorney-client privilege.
Anthony was arrested for child neglect and lying to police after she reported Caylee missing last Wednesday. Anthony told police she dropped the toddler off with a babysitter on June 9, but investigators have been unable to verify that claim.
Local authorities have been frustrated by statements from Anthony that they say are vague and sometimes untrue, since she reported her daughter missing a full five weeks after the toddler's disappearance.
"She hasn't told us anything," Orange County Deputy Sheriff Carlos Padilla told ABC News. "And the few things she has told us have turned out to be untrue. We're behind the eight-ball on this one."
Padilla said Anthony's friends have told investigators the woman has a habit of lying.
Anthony did not report the missing child to friends or family during the weeks since she disappeared, claiming the toddler was at Disney World, Universal Studios, or at the beach with her "nanny."
Once Anthony did report the child missing, at her own mother's request, investigators were unable to uncover some of the most basic facts of her life and the case. Police say Anthony lied about her current employment and led investigators to what she claimed was her babysitter's apartment -- one that had not been lived in for five months.
According to her attorney, Anthony suspects that the babysitter, whom Anthony named as Zenaida Gonzalez, has kidnapped her child, and urged police to broaden its search to include several cities including Miami, Charlotte and New York City.
For Padilla, the facts are not specific enough.
"If we know where the child is missing from, if the mother had called immediately, we would have a starting point," Padilla said with obvious frustration.
Further unsettling investigators is the reportedly serene and distracted manner in which Anthony talks about her child's disappearance.
"That's unusual. She showed no emotion, didn't seem concerned, and that made this case much stranger," Padilla said.