Sept. 5, 2008 -- Casey Anthony, the mother of missing Florida toddler Caylee Anthony, has been released from jail.
Casey had been held on multiple charges including child neglect, lying to investigators, petty theft and use of a forged check, but hasn't been charged in conjunction with her daughter's disappearance.
Authorities have been searching for Caylee Anthony since they were notified of her disappearance in July, nearly a month after she went missing.
On Sept. 1, the Orange County Sheriff's Office issued a statement saying that based on evidence that isn't yet public and FBI tests, it believes "there is a strong probability that Caylee [Anthony] is deceased."
Bond was posted by two local bail bondsmen. One of them, Joe Von Waldner, told ABCNews.com Thursday that he was working on behalf of a surety company which he declined to name, and that he was also working with MacDonald Bail Bonds, which declined to comment.
Anthony's attorney said an individual donor who wants to remain anonymous paid the $50-thousand dollars for the bond, "because of the belief that Ms. Anthony's constitutional rights have been grossly violated."
The case is full of well-documented twists, but new insights and new questions remain. Intimate, never-before-seen pictures and home videos of the girl and her young mother offer a rare window into Caylee's life.
'A Very, Very Strange Case'
Caylee lived with her grandparents and her 22-year-old mother, Casey in the comfortable Lee Vista section of suburban Orlando, Fla. Caylee's grandparents say the bizarre developments in the case have stolen attention from the toddler at the center of the mystery.
"This is our granddaughter," George Anthony, a former Ohio deputy sheriff, told "20/20." "I miss those little things that she did day in and day out with me. I miss that."
"I want my granddaughter back," said Cindy Anthony. "We live, breathe all day long. ... What are we going to do? What are we going to do if we don't find her soon, because all of our hearts are breaking every day."
"The person at the heart of this is Caylee, and she's kind of lost in the story, because really she's not a central character anymore," said Walter Pacheco, who has covered the story for the Orlando Sentinel. "It's an unusual case, because it's taken on a life of its own."
On Aug. 9, Caylee's third birthday came and went with no sign of the missing child, and on Aug. 17, the arrival of a Californian named Leonard Padilla added to the intrigue. A veteran bounty hunter with his own reality show, Padilla claimed he'd been contacted by Casey and would post her bond.
"You have this young mother, you have her family," Pacheco said. "You've got a bounty hunter wearing a cowboy hat that is now in the game. There are psychics posting blogs about where they think the little girl is. And then, you know, you have media trucks parked out there every day. It's a very, very strange case."
'Chaos' Inside Missing Girl Caylee Anthony's Family
Pacheco said the Anthonys seemed like any other happy American family, but closer examination revealed "complete chaos."
"And it's chaos that's been going on for years," he said. "They've had a history of just odd things."
Among those oddities, Pacheco said, is the fact that Caylee's birth certificate doesn't list her father's name.
"She [Casey] never really told [her family] who the father was," Pacheco said. "She did say the dad died in a car accident. And we haven't been able to find out who that was yet."
Pacheco added that Casey had a series of boyfriends after Caylee's birth, but most of them aren't speaking to the press. One man, who says he dated Casey seriously enough that they once considered marriage, spoke with the ABC News affiliate WFTV in Orlando. He asked that his name not be mentioned.
"I just saw her as someone who was trying to juggle being a single mother and, you know, a 22-year-old girl at the same time," he said. "Every time I was around her, Caylee was the center of her attention. Casey was a great parent whenever she was around her."
On Father's Day, June 15, the family took Caylee to visit her great-grandfather at an assisted living facility.
"There was some sort of huge argument Father's Day weekend," said Kathi Belich, a reporter for WFTV. "I am told neighbors heard yelling. There was some sort of big fight."
Two weeks later, on June 30, the family car Casey had been using was found abandoned in front of an Orlando cash advance business and towed away.
When the towing company called Casey's parents, a series of alarms went off. Casey reportedly had told her mother, Cindy, that she was going on a "mini-vacation" in Jacksonville and was spending time with some friends.
Cindy began calling Casey's friends, and her desperation intensified in mid-July when she discovered that her daughter had in fact been staying at an Orlando apartment complex with a boyfriend. Casey told her parents that Caylee had gone missing from her baby sitter's home in June, and that she'd launched her own investigation.
"The grandmother panicked and told her, 'I'm gonna call the cops,'" said Pacheco.
On the 911 tapes, Cindy is heard saying, "I found out my granddaughter has been taken, she has been missing for a month. Her mother finally admitted that she's been missing."
Another call to police on July 15 sent the panic and the stakes even higher.
"I can't find my granddaughter. ... There's something wrong," Cindy said. "I found my daughter's car today and it smelled like there's been a dead body in the damn car."
Cindy later retracted that statement, saying that the smell in the car could have been from garbage, but Casey Anthony became a person of interest in the case.
Casey Anthony Questioned, Charged
Authorities have released more than 400 pages of documents, which revealed that Casey told police that she left Caylee with a baby sitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, and that both were missing when she returned.
On July 16, 2008, police took Casey on a journey around the city to try to understand her story about where she had left her daughter.
"When [Casey] took them to the apartment [where] she said she had dropped her daughter off, that apartment had been vacant for almost 140 days," said Pacheco. "No one was living there."
Casey then took the police to two other buildings where she said she'd left Caylee in the care of Gonzalez, but the police could find no such woman and they they could not find anyone who knew Casey at Universal Studios, where Casey claimed to work.
Police took Casey into custody and charged her with child endangerment. The arrest affidavit states that she showed no "obvious emotion" over her daughter's disappearance.
Dozens of photos of Casey partying appeared anonymously on the Internet, amd detectives also discovered a poem that was written on Casey's MySpace page soon after her daughter's disappearance:
"Trust no one, only yourself. With great power comes great consequence. What is given can be taken away. Everyone lies, everyone dies, life will never be easy."
New Evidence; Bounty Hunter Pays Bond
The police took clothing samples from the Anthony home and dug up their backyard. They also subjected the family car to extensive forensic tests. And in a bond hearing for Casey on July 22, detectives revealed some stunning news.
"They found strands of hair that resembled her daughter's hair in the back of the trunk," said Pacheco. "Cadaver dogs smelled human decomposition in that trunk. When you hear a detective saying that, it was very shocking."
Casey's parents and brother closed ranks around her. They said they believed that Caylee had been kidnapped and the entire family was in danger.
"I think we all feel that the only thing that she's guilty of is not putting the information to the police department as soon as she found out," said her brother Lee Anthony.
For Casey's parents, it was a nightmare playing out in full view of an increasingly skeptical police and a crush of reporters who followed the case even more closely once bounty hunter Padilla offered to post Casey's bond.
"She kept saying, 'Get me out of here. I'll take you to my baby. I'll tell you what happened,'" Padilla said.
But days passed after Casey's release from jail, and there were no new revelations from the young mother.
"She has no display of emotions," Padilla said. "She's completely in control."
"She's in a no-win situation," said her attorney Jose Baez. "If she cries in front of the cameras, people are going to call it crocodile tears. People say that she's not showing emotion, but that couldn't be further from the truth. When I'm with her when we speak, many times she's broken down."
There was more reason to be upset just a week ago, when Casey was rearrested on charges of petty theft, accused of stealing a checkbook from a friend. But within hours of her return to jail, police stated that new tests on the trunk of the Anthony's car had revealed even more tragic -- and seemingly conclusive -- evidence.
"There was hair resembling Caylee's in the trunk," said Belich. "There was a stain in the trunk. And we know that the FBI DNA test showed that the stain and the hair came from Caylee, and that Caylee is, in fact, dead."
In the last 48 hours, new information has emerged. Sources close to the investigation say that Casey's laptop computer had been used to search the Internet for information about chloroform -- traces of which were found in the trunk of the car.
"It's not evidence until it's been admitted in court, until it's had and passed the rigors of cross examination," said Casey's attorney Jose Baez. "It's not evidence. So it's just an accusation. "
'It's Very Sad'
Despite all the speculation, the most serious charge against Casey Anthony is child neglect. But why did she wait so long to report her child was missing?
"She's a remarkable young woman in the sense that ... the best way I could describe her is she's a steel magnolia," said Michael Walsh, a member of her defense team. "No matter what anybody thinks, Casey Anthony is adamant. She did no harm to her daughter. She believes her daughter is alive. She believes her daughter's going to be found alive and well."
Casey's defense team also notes that while her actions may seem strange, there are good explanations for them, including why she waited 31 days to report that Caylee was missing.
"It's obviously the million-dollar question, and it's a question we'll answer when we're in court," Walsh said. "There's a very compelling reason, and we'll play that reason out in a court of law where it counts."
For the family and friends, the search for Caylee continues.
"You look at those photographs of her. She's adorable," said WFTV's Belich. "And you see, you know, pictures with her grandmother, she loved that little girl ... your heart goes out to them. It's very sad."