Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
From Missing to Murdered
Caylee Anthony
Caylee Anthony
On July 15, 2008, Casey Anthony (right), 22, told her mother, Cindy, that her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee (left), had been missing for a month. Cindy Anthony immediately called 911. She explained to the shocked operator that Casey had left a month ago, stealing her car and money. Now that she had found Casey, she was trying to locate Caylee. An hour later she called 911 again. This time she sounded panicked. "There's something wrong," she told the dispatcher. "I found my daughter's car today. It smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car." Caylee's body would not be found until December 11, 2008. But police would already have made an arrest in the case: Casey Anthony, whose story turned out to be a complete fabrication. According to Casey, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez had been Caylee's babysitter for nearly two years; and after dropping Caylee off with Fernandez-Gonzalez on June 9, Casey had gone to her office at Universal Studios, where she worked as an event planner. When she returned to Zenaida's apartment around 5:00 p.m. no one was home. She said she called Zenaida's cell phone, but the number was out of service. The simplest preliminary detective work quickly showed that Casey had seemingly pulled the name Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez out of a hat, and that Casey didn't work at Universal studios, nor did anyone who could have corroborated her story. As far as detectives could tell, Casey had told no one of her daughter's disappearance and no one had seen Caylee since at least June 15. Casey Anthony was arrested on July 16 for the murder of her daughter.
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