Jan. 23, 2009 — -- George Anthony, grandfather of slain toddler Caylee Anthony, may have taken his own life today had authorities not located him as quickly as they did, Anthony family lawyer Brad Conway said in a news conference today.
Police found Anthony despondent and possibly under the influence of medication and alcohol early this morning in a Datyona Beach, Fla., hotel, Conway said.
Police also discovered a five-page suicide note in the hotel that Anthony had apparently penned.
In a somber 911 call, Conway reported Anthony missing Thursday night and said Anthony "has taken several bottles of medication from the house as well as some pictures." One of the pictures was of little Caylee.
Anthony's daughter, 22-year-old Casey Anthony, was charged with Caylee's murder in October before the toddler's decomposed body was found less than a mile from the Anthony family home in December.
George Anthony was taken into police custody early this morning and transported to Halifax Medical Center for evaluation under a Florida law called the Baker Act, which allows authorities to hold people without their consent for up to 72 hours pending a psychiatric evaluation.
The strain of having his granddaughter murdered and his daughter accused of that murder "pushed [Anthony] to the brink of what might have been another tragedy," Conway said at the news conference.
Police were able to track Anthony's location through his cell phone, which he used to send a text messages to his family saying he did not "want to live anymore," Daytona Beach Police Department spokesman Jimmie Flynt told ABC News.
Investigators would not comment on the contents of the letter, but Flynt told ABC News it did not raise speculation that George Anthony was in any way involved in Caylee's murder.
Halifax spokeswoman Salina Wang told ABC News that Anthony is in stable condition.
While Conway said Anthony was recovering from his ordeal, he emphasized what a strain the past six months since Caylee went missing has put on the man.
"He's not OK. He's been through something that's affected his life, his wife's life, his daughter's life and his granddaughter is gone."
Anthony was reported missing by his family around 11:00 p.m. Thursday after he failed to show up for a scheduled meeting earlier that day.
Daytona Police Chief Mike Chitwood said Anthony was low-key and "melancholy" when they spoke to Anthony at the motel.
"[Anthony] basically said to us, 'You know, I just need to get away. I need to think things through.' That's why he was there," Chitwood told WFTV.
Police then invoked the Baker Act and took him to the hospital.
Anthony "went willingly" and fully cooperated with police and was not handcuffed on the way to the hospital, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Carlos Padilla said.
"He was not arrested. He has not committed a crime," Padilla told ABC News.
According to Padilla, George Anthony's most recent actions have had no bearing on his status in the investigation into Caylee's murder and does not draw suspicion that he was somehow involved.
"The pressures and everything may have gotten to him," Padilla said. "My heart goes out to him."
Caylee Anthony Details Released This Week
Since Caylee's disappearance in June, George Anthony and his wife Cindy Anthony have steadfastly maintained Casey's innocence and called her a "victim" in the case.
George's disappearance came just days after gruesome details emerged concerning the discovery of Caylee's body.
Adhesive residue from a heart-shaped sticker was found on the duct tape that covered Caylee Anthony's mouth when her body was found in December, according to an affidavit released Wednesday by the Orange County, Fla., state attorney's office.
The sticker appeared to have been "intentionally" placed on the duct tape, according to the affidavit, written by Det. Yuri Melich.
While the sheet from which the sticker came from was not found at the scene, according to the affidavit, investigators did locate a small heart-shaped sticker similar in size to the residue found on the duct tape in the area where the body was found.
Also found at the scene was a small shirt, size "3T," a small pair of white shorts with vertical stripes, size 24 months, and a "Winnie the Pooh" blanket.
Melich wrote that when authorities arrived at the scene it looked as though the remains had been put in a cloth laundry bag prior to being placed inside a plastic bag.
The remains were found Dec. 11, 2008, less than a quarter mile from the home Caylee shared with her mother and grandparents, by utility worker Roy Kronk.
The discovery of the child's body brought closure to a mystery that had dragged on for nearly five months after Casey Anthony, Caylee's mother, told police on July 15 that her daughter had disappeared a month earlier.
The day after she reported the child missing, Casey 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 discovering "evidence of decomposition" in the trunk of a car that Casey Anthony had driven.
On Oct. 14, with Caylee's body still missing, Casey Anthony was officially charged with first degree murder.
By the time Kronk found the 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.
Casey Anthony Charged With Murder
It has been the defense's position throughout the search that Anthony "handed [Caylee] up to a third party" in, Todd Black, spokesman for Casey Anthony's attorney Jose Baez, told ABC News after the remains were found in December.
Casey Anthony claimed that a woman named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, who she claimed was Caylee's nanny, was the last person to see Caylee alive after she dropped Caylee off at her apartment.
After an extensive search for Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman came forward and denied any involvement in the case or any connection to the family. 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.
Casey Anthony is currently in jail and charged with murder in the case.