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  • Chris McAndrew

The Tragic Death of Caylee Anthony - Crime Locations

This is the Anthony family home where Casey and Caylee were living in June of 2008 along with Casey’s dad George and mom Cindy Anthony. June 15th was Father’s Day and apparently there was a family argument here at the home that day.


The very next day this was the place where Caylee was last seen alive. Cindy said she left for work a bit before 7 that morning and everyone else in the house was still asleep. George said Casey and Caylee left the house together at 12:50 that afternoon then he left for work at 2:30. During the investigation it was found Casey’s phone continued to ping off the tower nearest the house throughout the afternoon until 4:11 pm.


If George’s testimony is true then that means Casey must have taken Caylee right down the road and hid until her father left for work then returned home. However there was activity on Casey’s Facebook and MySpace account and the person also checked an AOL instant messenger account which apparently George had at the time but Casey did not. This all happened on the home computer between 1:39 and 1:42. Was that George checking her accounts or accidentally on them on the home computer or was Casey actually still in the house? We don’t know.


Then at 2:51 when cell phone records show George was at work a search for full proof suffocation was done on the home computer. Then just five seconds later the person clicked on an article that gives advice on foolproof ways to die. The article said “poison yourself and then follow it up with suffocation and place a plastic bag over the head.


Somehow this was missed by investigators. They later admitted they had searched the computer’s Internet Explorer browser, but not the Mozilla Firefox browser which was the one Casey mainly used. They missed more than 1,000 searches on the computer from that day, which meant prosecutors at trial didn’t know about almost 99% of the search history records from the day Caylee disappeared.


There were also at different times searches investigators did find for making weapons out of household products, how to make chloroform, and neck-breaking.


At 4:11 Casey’s phone pings show her leaving the house. There was no activity on her cell phone between 4:25 and 6:31pm. At that point she made her way to Tony Lazzaro’s apartment, a man she had met a few weeks earlier through Facebook


Tony’s former apartment is right up these stairs here, number 708. It has a balcony area with a nice view of the lake behind it. This is where Casey lived for 31 days after Caylee disappeared.


Some friends of Casey said she had wanted to give Caylee up for adoption as she didn’t feel she was ready to be a mom. She even had a friend who wanted to adopt Caylee, but her mother Cindy didn’t want her to do that. Despite that, people around her said she was actually a good mother.


She didn’t let anyone smoke or drink around her daughter. Tony said they once hung out at the pool here at the complex and Caylee got a little too close to the edge of the pool at which point Casey went and talked to her telling her to stay away from the edge.


When she arrived here to move in with Tony on June 16th she didn’t have Caylee with her.


Blockbuster surveillance video from just before 8pm the night Caylee disappeared shows Casey and Tony walking arm and arm through the store picking out the two videos. Caylee is not with them. The other movie they chose to rent was called Jumper. It tells the story of a mom who abandons her five-year-old son.


They headed to Tony’s apartment to watch the movies that evening. Casey then spent the next month doing things around the apartment during the day, as well as getting a tattoo of the words Bella Vita which is Italian for Beautiful Life and heading out to party at night. Tony was a party promoter at the time. She enjoyed going to the parties he was promoting, hanging out with him and even entering a hot body contest just four days after Caylee disappeared.


During the month Casey was here after Caylee’s disappearance she didn’t spend much time with her parents although she did come back to the neighborhood on June 18 to borrow a shovel from a man by the name of Brian Burner who was one of her parent’s neighbors. She told Burner she wanted to "dig up a bamboo root." She brought the shovel back about an hour later.


Tony testified during the trial that he and Casey came here together on June 23rd and broke into the shed here to steal gas cans because her car was out of gas. George called the police about the break-in, but he saw Casey here later that day and asked her about them, and she told him they were in her car. As he started walking to her car she ran past him and grabbed them out of the trunk.


When her parents asked where Caylee was she would say she was with a babysitter by the name of Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez who she called Zanny the nanny. At one point they told her they needed to see Caylee so Casey agreed, but then she called them back later and said Zanny had been in a car accident and wasn’t able to bring Caylee over.


On June 30 workers at a local business called a tow company and said an unknown vehicle had been parked in their parking lot for several days.



Casey later claimed she had run out of gas again and chose to leave her car here. She had Tony pick her up, and she told him her father would deal with the car for her. She apparently didn’t bother to mention this to her father so it was eventually towed.


During the trial George testified that he was confident it was the smell of a decomposing human body. He said, "That particular smell whenever you smell it, it's something that you never forget. It's a very distinct odor"


A man by the name of Simon Birch was operations manager for the Wrecker Service at the time. He took a look at the car while it was in the lot. He said, "I put my hand up to the glass to shield the sun and look through the windows. At that point, I did notice a fairly strong odor emanating from the vehicle. The instant flash in my mind was, whoah, I know what that smells like."


He said he’d been in the towing industry for three decades, and he knew the difference between the smell of garbage and human decomposition.


He said when he opened the car door with George "the smell came out very instantly, very potent. It was eye opening. In the back of my mind, I said to myself that's the smell of decomposition."


When George opened the trunk he saw a bag of trash and maggots. He said he drove the car home with all the windows open because it wouldn’t have been possible to ride in the car with the windows up due to the smell. Not long after he got back home he left for work at a new job he was starting that day. Cindy told him she’d get in touch with their daughter.


That afternoon she went on a search for Casey. She was worried about the smell and the fact she hadn’t seen her granddaughter in a month. She found one of Casey’s friends who took her to Tony’s apartment. She forced Casey to come home. Casey eventually said she too hadn’t seen her daughter in a month, and she said Zany the Nanny had apparently kidnapped her. After hearing this Cindy called 911.


When police arrived Casey told them the same story she had told her mother that Zanny the Nanny had Caylee.


They arrived here close to 5:00 am and figured out this was knot the right place where Zanny lived. So Casey gave them another address to go check out.


Once they figured out this wasn’t Zanny’s home either they left and headed to another location.


At this point police realized they were being taken on a wild goose chase. They took Casey back home at 6:45 in the morning. Later that day when police tried to figure out where she worked Casey started up her next wild goose chase.


After this Casey was arrested and charged with making false official statements, child neglect, and obstructing an investigation.


A massive search begins for Casey, but no one seems to know where she could be. Then on August 11th a meter reader by the name of Roy Kronk calls police to say he saw a bag with a skull and bones in it in the woods here. No one shows up so he calls back again on the 12th and again on the 13th when finally a police officer by the name of Richard Cain shows up to check it out, but he told Kronk the ground was too wet and he apparently saw a snake in the area, and he was scared of snakes so he left without doing a proper check. Cain was later fired from the Orange County Sheriff’s office because of this.


Four months later, on December 11, 2008, Kronk headed back out here again to relieve himself.


As police searched this area they found some of her remains in a trash bag and they found duct tape hanging from her hair. It was a unique brand of duct tape, and they found more of it at the Anthony family home including on one of the gas cans. Over the next few days they found more of her bones scattered in the woods. Some of the bones had been chewed on by animals. They found a Winnie the Pooh blanket that was a match with bedding found in Caylee’s room. They also found a laundry bin that was a match with one found in the garage at the family home. When police searched photos from the family they also found a photo of her wearing the shirt she was found in.


There was at one point a six foot tall cross in memory of Caylee here. However several years back when they were filming for a tv show George and Cindy took it down as well as removing other things from the memorial site. George said at the time he didn’t want to come back here again.


On April 13th, 2009 prosecutors announced they were seeking the death penalty for Casey. She was charged with several things including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and providing false information to law enforcement. She was found not guilty on the more serious charges and found guilty on several counts of providing false information.


After the trial many people were angry about the jury’s verdict. Someone came up with an idea to require parents to notify law enforcement of the death or disappearance of a child. It would be a felony if a parent didn’t do this. Several states including Florida began to pass versions of this law which became unofficially known as Caylee’s Law.


Casey has for the most part been in hiding since the trial. She was credited with time served and let out of jail pretty quickly. She eventually moved to West Palm Beach to live with private eye Pat McKenna who was a key part of the OJ Simpson case and also was a consultant for Casey’s case.


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