Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Caylee Anthony


Map of Florida with Orlando locator
Map of Florida with Orlando locator

ORLANDO, Fla. On July 15, 2008, 22-year-old Casey Anthony reluctantly reported to the Orange County Sheriff's Office that her daughter Caylee, just three weeks from her third birthday, had been missing for more than a month.

When sheriff's detectives questioned her about Caylee's disappearance, Casey spun a fantastic tale. She claimed she had dropped her daughter off with her long-time babysitter, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, at Zenaida's apartment on South Conway Road on June 9. Casey said she then went to her office at Universal Studios, where she worked as an event planner. That evening when she returned to the babysitter's apartment, Zenaida and Caylee were gone. Casey even told detectives that she received a short telephone call from Zenaida three days later, but Zenaida wouldn't tell Casey where her baby was. Casey also claimed to have gotten a call from Caylee herself earlier that day, July 15, but Caylee did not give any clue as to her whereabouts or what had happened to her.

What Detective Yuri Melich discovered, though, was that no one named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez had ever lived at the apartment complex on South Conway. In fact, the apartment Casey claimed was Zenaida's, where she said she had dropped her daughter off for months, had been vacant and under renovation since February. Melich also found out that Casey didn't work at Universal Studios. She had at one time, but she'd been fired more than two years before.

And as for the two Universal Studios co-workers, the only two people Casey said she had told about her daughter's abduction, she couldn't tell Melich how to contact them. According to Universal executives, one had left the company in 2002, and the other had never worked there.

Nearly everything Casey Anthony had told the investigators had been a lie.


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