Grandmother Smelled 'Dead Body' Odor in Car

Cindy Anthony made two 911 calls about missing Fla. 2-year-old last week.

ByABC News
July 25, 2008, 2:53 PM

July 25, 2008 — -- The car driven by the mother of missing Florida 2-year-old Caylee Anthony smelled "like there's been a dead body" in it, according to a 911 call made by the child's grandmother last week.

At a bond hearing on Wednesday, authorities named the toddler's mother, Casey Anthony, 22, a "person of interest" in her daughter's June disappearance after investigators found "evidence of decomposition" in the trunk of the same car.

In the 911 calls released Thursday, Caylee's grandmother, Cindy Anthony, claimed she had "a possible missing child."

During a second emergency call, Casey Anthony, Caylee's mother, said, "My daughter's been missing for the last 31 days. I know who has her. I have tried to contact her."

Cindy Anthony has since discounted the comments she made in the 911 call, claiming that the smell could easily have been garbage in the car.

Casey Anthony told authorities that Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the toddler's babysitter, has the girl, but police have been unable to track down Gonzalez or even determine whether or not she exists.

Anthony is currently being held on three relatively small charges, including child neglect and obstructing an investigation, but her bond was set unusually high as prosecutors said the case was turning into "what is looking to be a homicide investigation."

Officer Yuri Mellich of the missing persons unit of the Orange County, Fla., Sheriff's Office called Anthony a "person of interest" after revealing that samples of hair of similar length and color to Caylee's were found in the trunk of a car owned by the Anthony family and last driven by Casey.

Plus, a police dog trained to seek out the decomposition of human bodies also alerted its handler to the car trunk.

Judge Stan Strickland set Anthony's bail at $500,000, with the restriction that if the bail is posted Anthony must wear a GPS tracking device at all times.

When handing down the verdict, Strickland voiced his concerns.

"I have some problems with the fact that her conduct just hasn't changed," he said. "She hasn't been any help in this investigation a bit."

Anthony was arrested on July 16 after police learned that she had not reported her child missing until a month after the toddler vanished and Anthony was, according to police, misleading about both where she worked and where the child was.

Three members of Anthony's family -- her mother, Cindy; her father, George; and her brother, Lee -- each testified that, if released on bond, Anthony would be more likely to help assist in the investigation.

"We can confide in each other on a level that we don't feel obligated to share with anybody else," Lee Anthony said, leaning forward in the witness stand. "We can tell each other things that we wouldn't feel comfortable telling even the rest of the family."

Police have not talked to Anthony since she was arrested on Wednesday, but her mother stated in the hearing that Casey would not talk to police about Caylee because she was "afraid."

Strickland suspected there could be an ulterior motive.