Aug. 20, 2008— -- A bail bondsman working with a California bounty hunter has posted bond for the mother of missing Florida toddler Caylee Anthony this afternoon, setting the stage for her release after more than a month in jail.
Casey Anthony, called a "person of interest" in the disappearance of her daughter, is being held on $500,000 bond on charges of child neglect, a third degree felony, and a misdemeanor count of filing a false police report.
The Orange County, Fla., Department of Corrections said that bond had been posted today and that Anthony could be released by midmorning Thursday, at the earliest.
The case, which has captivated the public and played out nightly on cable news shows, took another bizarre turn last week when California bounty hunter Leonard Padilla offered to post bond for Anthony in the hopes of persuading the 22-year-old mother to talk about what happened to her daughter after her release.
Padilla paid to have Anthony bailed out of jail, said his partner Robert Dick.
"We think she wants to talk about it," Dick said. "She's in a situation where she's in over her head and she needs some help. The reason this is being done is to get her out of being in custody and to be able to talk about it."
One of their associates will provide security at her parents' house after her release, he said.
Caylee, who would now be 3, disappeared in mid-June. Her mother was arrested July 16. Police have said that Anthony didn't report the child missing for a month and then lied to them about the disappearance. They have named her a "person of interest" in the case.
Speculation swirled around Anthony after police said they had found "evidence of decomposition," including hairs the same length and color as Caylee's, in the trunk of a car last used by Anthony.
Anthony told police she left Caylee with a baby sitter, but when she went to pick her up, the child and the baby sitter were gone. Police are skeptical of that version of events.
Larry Garrison, a spokesman for the Anthony family, said he believed Caylee had been kidnapped. Garrison has acted as a spokesman for families in other high-profile cases, such as the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba. He said he is not being paid to represent the Anthonys.
"They've convicted her in the press and it's horrendous," he said. "If there was sufficient evidence against her, they wouldn't be talking about her going home."