The realisation that your child is missing is perhaps one of the worst feelings a parent can go through. When and if in the rare case this happens, a parent would surely do everything they can to make sure their child is safe and returned to them as soon as possible, which includes contacting authorities immediately if needed. However, in the case of the Caylee Anthony, this procedure was not followed through, which is perhaps what drew America into the “biggest social media trial of the century”, including dividing opinions on the main suspect of the case – Caylee’s mom Casey Anthony.
Caylee Marie Anthony was a beautiful 3 year old little girl, born on the 9th August 2005 and lived with her mother Casey Anthony and her maternal grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony. Since Casey gave birth to Caylee at a young age, Caylee’s grandparents took a significant role into looking after the young girl. Therefore, when they Casey took off with Caylee (on the 16th June 2008) and George and Cindy didn’t hear of or from her granddaughter in a month, suspicions were raised. This lead to Cindy making a sudden visit to Casey’s to check up on her and her granddaughter so when she heard that Caylee had been missing for 31 days, had apparently been kidnapped by a nanny and had smelt death in Casey’s car, Cindy immediately alerted authorities, on the 15th July.
During police investigation into Caylee’s disappearance, Casey Anthony started to become a high point of suspicion because of her consistent lies – when questioned by police Casey said Caylee had been kidnapped by “Zanny the Nanny” who in fact never existed and she had also lied about having a job at Universal Studios. Therefore, Casey was first arrested on the 16th June 2008 and charged the next day for giving false statements to law enforcement and child neglect.
Throughout this whole period, Caylee’s grandparents and America had hoped for the little girl to be alive but unfortunately her body was discovered on the 11th December 2008. Foul play was immediately suspected as investigative teams recovered duct tape hanging from Caylee’s hair and some tissue left on her skull – death was then ruled a homicide but listed as undetermined. Casey was shortly indicated by a grand jury on charges of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and manslaughter and four counts of proving false information to the police.
During her trial, four hundred pieces of evidence was presented to try and determine Casey guilty – including a strand of Caylee’s hair that was recovered from the back of Casey’s truck that showed “root-branding” (in which hair roots form a dark band after death). Casey’s computer history was also presented to the jury which included Google searches for the terms “neck breaking” and “how to make chloroform”, which all were deeming factors in trying to prove Casey guilty of her daughter’s murder.
However, Casey’s defence opened with a stunning claim, that Caylee drowned in the family’s swimming pool and the reason why Casey didn’t report her daughter’s disappearance was because she never went missing, she accidentally drowned and Casey and her dad helped dispose the body, in order to avoid a possible manslaughter prosecution. This defence was deemed false by Casey’s dad himself, George, as he claimed that he would have done everything humanly possible to save his granddaughter if that had really happened, including alerting the authorities straight away.
After sixteen days of deliberation, the jury (7 women and 5 men) found Casey Anthony not guilty on the counts of first degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse but found her guilty on the charge of providing false information to the police. Casey’s sentence was one year in the county jail and $1,000 in fines for each of the four counts of providing false information to law enforcement. Casey was released on July 17th 2011 on the account for good behaviour and time already served.
Nowadays, George and Cindy Anthony do not speak to their daughter and her father has deemed her a repulsive liar. Casey lives and works for Patrick McKenna, the lead investigator for the defence in not only her case but OJ Simpson’s case also.
In my opinion, whether or not Casey deliberately intended to cause harm to her daughter that fateful day, she should take full responsibility into her daughter’s death as if it wasn’t for the neglect that Caylee suffered, she would’ve still been with us today.