Exclusive: Meter Reader Roy Kronk Denies Tip to Caylee's Body

"Rattlers" may have hindered cop's August search for Caylee's body.

ByLEE FERRAN via logo
January 13, 2009, 8:50 AM

Jan. 13, 2009 — -- Roy Kronk, the utility worker who found Caylee Anthony's remains, dismissed suggestions that he was somehow involved in the Florida toddler's disappearance in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America" today.

"No good deed goes unpunished," he said. "There's all the speculation that there were tips. Nobody tipped me off. I figured this out by myself. I've never even met those people [the Anthony family]."

Casey Anthony, Caylee's mother, reported the 2-year-old missing in July, a month after she disappeared. Anthony was charged with the toddler's murder in October.

Kronk discovered Caylee's remains in December, but had suspicions about the location months before. He alerted police to his suspicions in August and met cops at the site. But he also warned the police that the area was infested with rattlesnakes and even showed police photos of the rattlers.

Kronk complained to "GMA," however, that investigators made a very quick search of the area and left.

Kronk, a former bail bondsman who was aware of the search for the missing toddler, said that in mid-August he was taking a break from work in the Orlando suburb less than a mile from the Anthony home when he realized that the road he was on did not normally see heavy foot traffic.

"It made sense to me," he said. "If you were going to get rid of something like that -- the decay of the swamp on either side of the road -- it would be a good place to hide it."

After a little exploring, Kronk said he saw a suspicious bag in a wooded, watery area just off the road. Kronk made a total of three calls to authorities but when a detective met Kronk to investigate further, Kronk said the effort was frustratingly cursory.

"He went to the water's edge. I pointed to where it was at. He just swept his head back and forth and said, 'I don't see anything.' And pretty much, that was it. I guess the deputy didn't want to go in the water to look at the bag," Kronk said. "The cop was, I would say, he was kind of rude to me."

Kronk conceded that his warning that the area was infested with snakes could have hindered the investigator's search.

In December, police confirmed they had searched the area in August, but the search was hindered because the area was under water at the time.

Kronk said that he returned to the area in December because he had to relieve himself and that is when he found the bag that had Caylee's remains inside. By then, much of the water had dried up, he said.

Since the discovery, Kronk said he's been the target of harsh, unfair accusations.

"They've been really hard on me," he said. "You try to do the right thing, you try to be the nice guy and you just get vilified. I mean, the sad thing is people believe some of the things that are being said. And I have nothing to do with this at all. ... I tried to help put a little closure to that poor child."

"And she got a decent burial at the end of all this. That's what I tried to do," Kronk said.

End to the Long, Twisting Search for Caylee

According to police, Kronk is not suspected of being involved in Caylee's disappearance.

"He saw something that was suspicious and acted upon it as any good citizen should. He did the right thing," Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Carlos Padilla said in a statement.

Kronk's discovery ended a massive search effort that began July 15 when Casey Anthony told police her daughter, Caylee, had disappeared a month earlier.

The day after she reported the child missing, Anthony was arrested on charges including child neglect. During a bond hearing July 22, authorities named Anthony a "person of interest" in Caylee's disappearance and said they were treating the case as a potential homicide after they discovered "evidence of decomposition" in the trunk of a car that Anthony had driven.

Click here to view a complete timeline of the Caylee Anthony case.

On Oct. 14, with Caylee's body still missing, Anthony was officially charged with first degree murder.

By the time Kronk found a child's remains less than half a mile from the Anthony home Dec. 11, the massive search effort had attracted thousands of volunteers. Authorities including the FBI had tracked down hundreds of leads both in the United States and abroad.

Eight days later authorities confirmed through DNA testing that the remains belonged to the missing toddler.

It has been the defense's position throughout the search that Anthony "handed [Caylee] up to a third party" in June and that a body could be found, Todd Black, spokesman for Anthony's attorney Jose Baez, told ABC News after the remains were found in December.

"From the beginning he [Baez] started preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best," Black said.

Anthony claimed a woman named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez who was Caylee's nanny was the last person to see Caylee alive after Anthony dropped Caylee off at her apartment. After an extensive search for Fernandez-Gonzalez, one woman came forward to deny any involvement in the case or any connection with the family at all.

Police cleared Fernandez-Gonzalez, 37, and the woman filed a defamation lawsuit against Anthony in September, claiming she lost her job and cannot find an apartment because of her inclusion in the investigation.

Andrea Canning contributed to this report.

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