Published December 16, 2008
Investigators found a trail of bones over the weekend in a wooded area near the Orlando home of missing child Caylee Anthony and expanded their search zone as the FBI worked to identify a skull discovered there last week.
The new bones were located in an area less than a half-mile from the home the young child shared with her mother and grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony, and a lawyer for the couple said the family was preparing for the worst.
"They're devastated," Brad Conway told MyFOXOrlando.com. "They're trying to deal with this the best they can. They're realistic about the probability that it's Caylee, but they pray it's not."
Orange County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed more bones were discovered at the site over the weekend as investigators sifted through soil on the scene.
The Anthonys returned to their home and through their lawyer asked for privacy Monday until the medical examiner is able to identify the remains.
Conway told the station that investigators searching the Anthonys' home in the wake of the skull discovery "tore it apart."
The Anthonys attended a church service Sunday and met privately with their pastor at the Eastside Baptist Church, MyFOXOrlando.com reported.
"I just prayed with the Anthonys this morning and encouraged them and let them know we're here and we're not leaving," their pastor, Dr. Shane Stutzman, told the station.
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 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 Caylee.
"We're going to have our experts all reviewing everything from top to bottom," her attorney Jose Baez told MyFOXOrlando.com. "Unfortunately, due to the time that's elapsed and our inability to be able to observe what's being done, there's no telling what the scene is going to look like when we get it or what it was like beforehand."
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.