Published September 04, 2008
The mother of missing Florida toddler Caylee Anthony managed to dodge a court appearance on new check fraud charges, a day after the startling news that "significant levels" of chloroform were allegedly found in her car.
Casey Anthony, 22, of Orlando, was re-arrested last weekend on the latest charges, which are unrelated to the investigation into her small daughter's whereabouts and stem from allegations that she used a friend's checks to pay for groceries and other items.
She was scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning, but the arraignment was canceled, according to Allen Moore, a spokesman with the Orange County Corrections Department. The reason? An outside company called MacDonald Bail Bonds posted a percentage of her $3,000 bond without her knowledge, defense attorney Jose Baez told FOX affiliate WOFL-TV in Orlando.
Anthony has already been accused of lying to investigators and child neglect for allegedly failing to report then 2-year-old Caylee missing for more than a month. She has pleaded not guilty, but remains behind bars on $500,000 bond still in effect for those charges.
Orange County police said earlier this week that in light of recently completed FBI forensics tests, they now believe the child is dead.
There were few immediate details about the explosive alleged chloroform find, though sources told WOFL — which broke the news — that one of the computers taken from the Anthony home showed a search for information on the substance and how to use it.
Anthony's car has been a focus of the investigation; DNA taken from strands of hair and a stain found in the trunk were linked to little Caylee, according to the FBI and the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Chloroform, a solvent, was used as an anesthetic in the past because inhaling the vapors depresses the central nervous system. It causes dizziness, fatigue and a loss of consciousness, and inhaling too much can be fatal.
Caylee's third birthday was Aug. 9. She vanished in mid-June; Anthony didn't report her missing until mid-July at her parents' insistence.
Leonard Padilla, the California bounty hunter who with his bail bondsman nephew posted and then withdrew Anthony's $500,000 bond, told WOFL that he is willing to get it reinstated — but only if the young mother tells detectives where Caylee's body is.
If she complies, he said, he and nephew Tony Padilla will repost the bond so that Anthony can await her trial out of jail, according to MyFOXOrlando.com. The offer was presented to the Anthony family and her attorney Jose Baez.
Padilla, who originally thought Caylee was alive, said he now believes she is dead.
Searchers haven't given up on finding the girl.
EquuSearch volunteers said Wednesday that they're more determined than ever. The 30 to 40 people combing the Orlando area are "not pulling out until they find this baby or exhaust every lead," search director Mandy Albritton told the Orlando Sentinel.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.