Published November 10, 2008
A day after 1,500 volunteers descended on the Orlando area to search for missing toddler Caylee Anthony, 700 came back Sunday to try again.
The effort for the child, who is believed to be dead, is targeting about 130 different areas, and Saturday saw the largest single-day search ever spearheaded by the Texas-based Equusearch — though it fell short of estimates that more than 3,000 volunteers would help that day, MyFOXOrlando.com reported.
"Everything is going extremely well," said Equusearch President Tim Miller.
Searchers from about 30 different states came armed with long-bladed knives and sticks, many hunting for any traces of the toddler on horseback. But by Sunday afternoon, those scouring fields and woods still hadn't found anything qualifying as the breakthrough they were hoping for.
Volunteers might still be needed; those interested were asked to call (407) 517-6333.
The 3-year-old's mother Casey Anthony is behind bars for allegedly murdering her little girl, who vanished in mid-June but wasn't reported missing until a month later.
One select group of searchers was dispatched Saturday to an undisclosed secured area near the airport, though authorities were mum on details.
Earlier Sunday, the father of Anthony's ex-boyfriend Jesse Grund opened the day's efforts with a prayer.
At one point, searchers grew hopeful when divers pulled a bag of bones from a body of water in Blanchard Park — but the remains turned out to be canine, not human, according to MyFOXOrlando.com.
Caylee's grandfather said he didn't think the little girl's remains were going to be unearthed.
"Do I believe they're going to find my granddaughter out there? No," said George Anthony.
On Friday, attorneys requested a gag order in an effort to stop the steady stream of information and evidence that's been released in the case.
Meanwhile, documents publicized last week reveal that Caylee's grandfather worried about the smell of a dead person he detected coming from his daughter's car trunk.
“I had bad vibes the very first day when I got that car," George Anthony said in interviews with investigators. He told police that he said to himself, "Please, God, don't let that be my Caylee."
The Florida State Attorney's Office in Orlando released 500 pages of documents, including interviews with the 22-year-old Casey Anthony's parents, her former boyfriend and friends in connection with Caylee's disappearance.
George Anthony told police that he was concerned about a familiar odor wafting from the trunk of his daughter's Pontiac Sunfire.
As a former homicide investigator, he said, he recognized the smell of death, and his wife Cindy Anthony noticed it too, even though she told the media she thought it was decaying pizza.
Forensic tests released last month confirmed that hair found in the trunk of the vehicle came from a decomposing body. DNA evidence suggests a corpse had been in the car's trunk.
Caylee disappeared in June, two months shy of her third birthday, but wasn't reported missing until July.
Anthony said she left Caylee with a baby sitter, but police contend that's a lie.
The little girl has not been found, and authorities say she was killed. In addition to first-degree murder, her mother is charged with manslaughter and other offenses. Anthony has pleaded not guilty.