Published August 09, 2008
The third birthday of a missing Orlando toddler came Saturday with still no sign of the little girl, despite her family's hope that she would be home by then.
A vigil for Caylee Marie Anthony was held Friday night. Her 22-year-old mother, Casey Marie Anthony, remains jailed on $500,000 bond on charges of child neglect, failing to immediately report her daughter's disappearance and lying to police. She plans to go back to court to again ask a judge to lower her bond.
A pond near the home of the tot's grandparents was searched by Orange County dive teams Friday in what police described as a routine monthly training exercise; three submerged vehicles were found, according to MyFOXOrlando.com. Two of them had been reported stolen to Orlando police.
The retention pond is off Chickasaw Trail, less than a mile from the home of Cindy and George Anthony, where Casey and Caylee had been living until around the time of the child's disappearance on or around June 16.
Casey Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, filed a motion Friday for another hearing on her bond amount in the hopes of getting it reduced. No date has been set.
Anthony has been named a "person of interest" in her daughter's disappearance.
On Friday morning, Anthony refused a scheduled jail visit with her brother Lee Anthony.
Allan Moore of the Orange County Jail said Anthony knew that her brother came to see her, but told the guard from her cell that she didn't want the meeting to go on as scheduled, according to MyFOXOrlando.com. Lee Anthony rescheduled his visit for 9 a.m.
Also Friday, the search warrant in the case was released, revealing that investigators have taken a long list of items from Casey's closet for DNA testing.
The warrant also shows that Anthony first reported to have last seen her daughter on June 9, but changed the date later to June 16 when a photo surfaced of Caylee with her grandfather on June 15, Father's Day.
And, according to the warrant, Anthony led police to three different locations she said the baby sitter who has Caylee could be.
She told detectives that a woman named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez had been Caylee's baby sitter for the past two years and told them where her apartment was. But when police went to the apartment she said belonged to the alleged baby sitter, they learned it had been vacant for almost five months.
Since then, police have spoke to a woman by that name, but that Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez did not recognize photos of Caylee or her mother. Police said that particular name is common and believe it could be a coincidence.
Detectives have told FOX News that they are looking into the possibility that Casey Anthony impersonated the baby sitter. She may have signed the sitter's name during a visit to an apartment complex and written in a visit date within the time frame of the child's disappearance.
Anthony is charged with a third-degree felony, child neglect, and one misdemeanor count of filing a false police report. She has submitted a not guilty plea in writing; her arraignment is Aug. 21.
Anthony gave birth to Caylee on Aug. 9, 2005, when she was 19. She declined to put the father's name on the birth certificate.
About a year later, he died in a car crash and was buried out of state. Casey Anthony did not attend the funeral, said her brother, Lee Anthony. Family members say he never knew he was the father; the Anthony family says he did but didn't tell anyone else.
A lawyer for Jesus Ortiz, a man who may be Caylee's late father, told FOX News that Anthony and Ortiz went to high school together, and that the young man's family is shocked by the news that their son may be the father.
"The family has never heard of her," said the lawyer, Bryan Crews. "Had he been the father of the child, they certainly would have known."
Mother and baby lived in Anthony's childhood home east of Walt Disney World in suburban Orlando, in an ivory-colored ranch flanked by two palm trees with a basketball hoop in the driveway. By all accounts, Cindy and George Anthony were more like parents than grandparents to Caylee, who loved SpongeBob, swimming and her miniature tea set.
And while Casey Anthony had several boyfriends and worked sporadically as a product promotion representative in bars, clubs and restaurants, she was a good mother, friends and family say.
A high school dropout, she had no criminal record. Officials at Florida's child welfare agency said they were never called about possible abuse or neglect in the Anthony home.
Lee Anthony said Casey left town with Caylee on June 16 for work and vacation. Almost five weeks later, on July 24, Cindy Anthony dialed 911.
"I found out my granddaughter has been taken, she has been missing for a month, we're talking about a 3-year-old little girl ... I need to find her," the frantic grandmother said. "I found my daughter's car today and it smells like there's a dead body in the damn car."
She said she hadn't seen the girl since mid-June. The dispatcher asked to speak to Casey Anthony, who told the operator she hadn't reported the disappearance because she'd been looking for the child on her own.
Other troubling details emerged: A neighbor told detectives Anthony had asked to borrow a shovel in June. Her father said she stole two gas cans from the garage. A boyfriend said she never told him in June that Caylee was missing.
Cadaver-sniffing dogs detected a scent in Casey's car, and hair, dirt and a strange stain were found in the trunk. Investigators are still awaiting FBI tests on evidence from the vehicle.
Detectives are amazed Casey has kept her composure under questioning, never crying or showing emotion.
"Her demeanor has been, for lack of a better word, nonchalant," says Deputy Chief Carlos Padilla. "She's shown no remorse, no concern."
On the night she was arrested, a family friend asked, in a recorded jail call: "How come everybody's saying that you're not upset, that you're not crying, that you showed no emotion, no caring of where Caylee is at all?"
"Because I'm not sitting here f——— crying every two seconds. Because I have to stay composed to talk to detectives, to make other phone calls, to do other things. I can't sit here and be crying every two seconds like I want to. I can't."
Baez said his client is innocent and "has a very compelling reason for her actions and we will present them at the proper time and place."
FOX News' Phil Keating, Ian Rafferty, Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.