George Anthony Left 5-Page Suicide Note, Sent Suicidal Texts to Family

George Anthony took medication, photo of Caylee before typing suicidal texts.

ByABC News via logo
January 23, 2009, 12:14 PM

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.

Click here to hear the 911 call.

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.