Mother of Missing Florida Toddler Caylee Anthony Might Soon Be Charged With Murder

Published October 09, 2008

| FoxNews.com

Murder charges could soon be filed against the mother of missing Orlando toddler Caylee Anthony, and her attorney says she's prepared for the worst.

The state attorney’s office and Orange County Sheriffs are working together on the murder case against 22-year-old Casey Anthony, though no charges have been formally filed as of yet, according to MyFOXOrlando.com.

A grand jury will convene in Orange County, Fla., next week and evidence against Anthony could be presented, though that hasn't yet been confirmed, MyFOXOrlando.com reported.

Anthony's lawyer Jose Baez won't say whether he expects his client to be indicted on homicide charges.

Baez told the "Today" show Thursday morning that he and Anthony have been preparing for the worst.

Click here for photos.

He said authorities are giving up on their search for Caylee by trying to make a case against her mother.

As of Thursday, the sheriff's office has declined to comment on whether murder charges are imminent or whether a grand jury will indict Anthony on Tuesday on those or other charges.

"We’re not going to project what we will doing in the next couple of days or in the coming weeks," Orange County Sheriff's Capt. Angelo Nieves told FOXNews.com on Thursday. He said that includes information about a forthcoming arrest or new charges, if any.

For now, Nieves said, Anthony remains a suspect in her daughter's disappearance because of the "totality of the evidence" and her repeated failure to cooperate with police.

"She doesn’t answer any questions. She’s refused to do so," Nieves said. "She’s been deceptive, throwing us off course. ... Obviously that would make her a suspect in the disappearance of her child and the missing persons investigation."

But, he emphasized, it is not a death or murder case — yet.

"It is a missing person investigation. We have not changed that at this point," Nieves told FOXNews.com. "When we do, that will be made clear and done so with the State Attorney’s office."

Prosecutors were unavailable for comment Thursday because their offices were closed for the Yom Kippur holiday.

The little girl was last seen in mid-June, two months before her third birthday. Police believe the missing toddler is dead, and said they've found evidence of a decomposing body they think belongs to the child in her mother's trunk.

Anthony has still not been formally charged with anything related to her disappearance other than lying to investigators and child neglect.

She has repeatedly told officers she left Caylee with a baby sitter named Zenaida Gonzalez and doesn't know where she is. Detectives don't believe her.

Baez will ask for all records pertaining to Gonzalez in court on Friday in addition to requesting that his client be allowed out of her parents' house, where she is confined with an ankle monitor, to help search for Caylee.

Last week, Orange County authorities confirmed they were now treating the young mother as a suspect in her daughter's disappearance.

Meanwhile, Baez said through his spokesman Todd Black that the defense's own investigators are out of state getting a photo of the Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez who Anthony contends took Caylee, according to MyFOXOrlando.com.

Black says the picture was taken at a park and shows the woman they say is the baby sitter, Anthony and little Caylee. It isn't known when the photo was taken.

Black said Anthony's lawyer has for weeks been trying to find the man who has the picture and after finally locating him, sent a team to interview him.

Earlier this week, a camera was installed at the home where Anthony is living on house arrest.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office told neighbors Tuesday that police put up the surveillance camera on a lamp post on Hopespring Drive to monitor any future clashes between the Anthony family and protesters.

On Wednesday, deputies released more pages of discovery in the case against Caylee's mother. The latest documents involve check fraud charges she faces that are unrelated to the missing toddler case, MyFOXOrlando.com reported.

Anthony will appear in court on those charges Oct. 14.

Among the evidence made public:

• Surveillance photos of Anthony allegedly fraudulently using the Bank of America account of her former friend, Amy Huizenga, who filed the charges against her.

• Physical copies of Huizenga's checks that Anthony allegedly wrote for cash and purchases.

It is the third time officers have released evidence in the case in recent weeks.

Click here for a timeline of the case.

Click here for some of the documents released.

Click here for more from MyFOXOrlando.com.

FOXNews.com's Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/10/09/mother-missing-florida-toddler-caylee-anthony-might-soon-be-charged-with-murder