Child Neglect Charges Dropped Against Mother of Missing Florida Toddler Caylee Anthony

Prosecutors in the case of a missing Florida toddler who is presumed dead said Tuesday they have dropped child neglect charges against Caylee Anthony's mother.

They will continue to prosecute Casey Marie Anthony, 22, on first-degree murder and other charges outlined in the homicide indictment brought against her by a grand jury last week.

The State Attorney's Office in Orange County, Fla., explained in a prepared statement that the neglect offense was dropped from the case because it was filed on the premise that little Caylee was still alive.

"As the investigation progressed and it became clear that the evidence proved that the child was deceased, the State sought an indictment on the legally appropriate charges," prosecutors said. "We remain prepared to proceed to trial on the charges in the indictment."

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Click here for the indictment.

Anthony remains jailed on first-degree murder, manslaughter and other charges, capping an exhaustive four-month-long investigation into the little girl's whereabouts. She is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday Oct. 28.

The child, who vanished two months before her third birthday in mid-June, still has not been found. Caylee's family didn't report her missing for a month.

If convicted, Anthony could face life in prison or the death penalty.

The State Attorney's Office also said it still will not comment on whether capital punishment will be sought or on other elements of the case, in part because it doesn't want to generate the type of publicity that would require a change of venue for the trial. The case has already created a media frenzy for months.

"Remember, these charges are only allegations and do not constitute a proof of guilt," prosecutors said. "Ms. Anthony has the right to a trial by jury and is cloaked with the presumption of innocence."

Meanwhile, Caylee's family held another prayer vigil for her over the weekend.

George and Cindy Anthony, the little girl's grandparents, said more than 100 people showed up to pray for their missing granddaughter.

Federal investigators are doing DNA tests on a dress found in the woods by a Tampa-based rescue group, according to Some say the dress could not belong to Caylee because it is too new and the wrong size.

Casey Anthony's defense lawyer Jose Baez said in an interview on Sunday on FOX News' "Geraldo At Large" that his team is excited to present their side of the story because he believes his client will be proven innocent.

"Once we are able to show her version of the facts, I think the entire world is going to be able to sit back and say, 'Now I understand,' " Baez said.

He did not say if Anthony would testify at her trial.

"We believe Caylee is alive," Baez told a news conference last week. "I said that from Day 1; I continue to say that. For reports to be out there to suggest otherwise are completely false."

In addition to murder, Anthony faces charges of aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter and four counts of lying to investigators.

She told authorities she had left her daughter with a babysitter in June and the two were gone when she returned from work. She says she spent the next month trying to find her daughter and didn't call authorities because she was scared.

Investigators say little that Anthony has told them has proven to be true. The apartment where she said she dropped her daughter off had been vacant for months, and she also lied when she told them she had been working at an area theme park as a photographer, according to police.

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