Immunity Deal Expires in Caylee Anthony Case

Prosecutors had offered Casey Anthony limited immunity in search for daughter.

ByABC News
September 2, 2008, 12:25 PM

Sept. 2, 2008— -- The mother of a missing Florida toddler no longer has an offer of immunity from prosecutors in exchange for her help in the search for the girl.

The Florida state attorney's office said in a statement that it had not heard from Casey Anthony's attorneys by this morning, when the offer expired.

"As of this morning, the state has not heard from the defense attorney regarding our offer to speak about the case. The offer has now expired," the statement said.

Anthony, called a "person of interest" in the disappearance of her daughter, Caylee, is being held in the Orange County, Fla., jail on charges, including child neglect and making false statements. She has not been charged in connection with Caylee's disappearance.

Police have been searching for Caylee since July, and the Orange County sheriff's department said Monday that it believes she is probably dead.

Prosecutors had offered Casey Anthony a limited immunity deal in exchange for her help in the search of the girl. The agreement would have meant statements Anthony made to investigators could not be used against her in court.

The sheriff's department said on Monday that FBI lab tests, "along with additional evidence that has not been made public, leads investigators to the belief there is a strong probability that Caylee [Anthony] is deceased."

A law enforcement source confirmed to last week that air sample tests taken from Anthony's car trunk allegedly revealed evidence of human decomposition. Anthony has given the police changing and inaccurate information about the case, according to investigators.

Police last month said hairs the same length and color as Caylee's were found in the trunk of the car, and Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, said in a 911 call in July that the car smelled like there had been a dead body in it.

Cindy Anthony has since retracted those comments, saying the smell could easily have been from garbage in the car.

Over the weekend, Casey Anthony was sent back to jail on new charges, including petty theft and use of a forged check. The $500,000 bail, posted by a California bondsman that released Anthony from jail, was also rescinded.

At a court hearing that reportedly lasted a little over a minute over the weekend, Judge Mike Miller set Anthony's bail at $3,000 for the new charges.

She is now being held on a total of six charges, including the original charges of child neglect and lying to investigators.

Last week, bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, who helped Anthony secure her bond, also said that, in light of preliminary air sample tests that reportedly indicate a decomposing body was in Anthony's trunk, he now believes that Anthony accidentally killed her daughter.