Published December 15, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. – Sunday marked the fourth day of searching a wooded area for clues in the case of a missing toddler Caylee Anthony and detectives are being tight-lipped on whether any more evidence has been found.
On Thursday, a utility worker found a child's skull less than a half-mile from the Orlando home that the toddler shared with her mother and grandparents
Caylee has been missing since June, and no trace of her was found until last week's discovery. Orange County Sheriff's deputies, agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FBI experts have converged on the vacant property to comb it for clues.
Sheriff's spokesman Carlos Padilla said Sunday that the thick undergrowth has made for slow searching.
"They're being very tedious and very methodical," he said.
Padilla would not say what, if any, other pieces of evidence were found during the four-day search.
Caylee's mother, 22-year-old Casey Anthony, waited a month to report her daughter missing. She initially told police that she left the child with a baby sitter, but detectives said her story was untrue. Anthony was charged in her daughter's murder on Oct. 14.
The discovery of the skull is the first major break in the case in months.
Although DNA results on the remains probably won't be released for several days, authorities and even Anthony's own attorneys are treating the find as if it is the little girl.
One of Anthony's attorneys, Linda Kenney Baden, said during a court hearing last week that "anthropological measurements and hair color" of the remains were said to match Caylee.
Sheriff Kevin Beary said that a search of the grandparents' home where the mother and daughter lived had also yielded links to the remains that he would not reveal. There are no other similar missing-child cases in the area.
Anthony is being held without bond at the Orange County Jail.
On Sunday, the suburban neighborhood near the Anthony's home and where the remains were found buzzed with activity. Inflatable Santa decorations and holiday lights were an odd backdrop for the crime scene vans and satellite TV trucks.
Neighbors wandered over to take photos of a small, makeshift memorial for Caylee, which included a unicorn, a Cinderella fan and teddy bears of varying sizes and colors.
California bounty hunter Leonard Padilla — who had previously bailed Anthony out on lesser child neglect charges — stood by a canal, taking photos with well-wishers and handing out autographs. At one point, Padilla had conducted his own search for Caylee, and on Sunday, he pontificated on how long detectives might stay at the scene.
"Thank you for all of your help," neighbor Tim Lewis, 45, said to Padilla, shaking his hand.
Lewis, a 45-year-old flight attendant, admitted he has been captivated by the case.
"The truth has been very hard to find in this story," said Lewis, as his two daughters snapped photos of a cowboy hat-clad Padilla. "Maybe, finally, the truth is going to come out."