EquuSearch Investigator: 'I Feel It's Caylee'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," December 11, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight, a child's skull found in a bag by a utility worker -- graphic, ugly, but maybe it is the clues that will finally end the mystery. Is it Caylee Anthony?

FOX News's Phil Keating is in front of the Anthony house in Orlando -- Phil.

PHIL KEATING, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Greta, 45 minutes or so ago, the lead investigators of the Orange County Sheriff's Department who have been working this missing child case, little Caylee Anthony, for nearly six months now, enter the home of the Cindy and George Anthony, the grandparents, of course, of little Caylee Anthony and the parents of the prime suspect, Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony.

They obtained their search warrant just about any hour ago. They put up the crime scene tape, and they have been inside the house, as well as in the back yard. We've seen a lot of flashbulbs going off. It appeared they were taking a lot of photographs of the shed in the back yard, as well as some in garage, and presumably right here in the front bedroom, where we believe Caylee or Casey spent quite a deal of time back in the days in the summertime when they were actually living here with Casey's parents.

All of this triggered just over 12 hours ago, when the amazing discovery in the woods that is, seriously, a three-minute walk away from the Anthony home, the length of 20 homes next to each other. That is a wooded area near an elementary school on the fringe of this neighborhood. And that is when that water meter reader with the county entered those woods, stumbled upon what he described as plastic wrapped around something, with duct tape around that. When he accidentally kicked it, we are told, the skull came out. And that's when investigators were called to the scene.

According to some of the people whom that worker first talked with after he emerged from the woods, he told them that there was duct tape and plastic, and on the skull, there was duct tape across the skull's mouth. However, investigators with Orange County Sheriff's Department, including the sheriff, will not confirm or deny that account.

Investigators, volunteers from St. Petersburg had been in that same wooded area just three weeks ago. They see -- they saw nothing. And this area had been search pretty thoroughly back in July and August by the Orange County Sheriff's Department. However, they discovered nothing. The reason given for that today is at that time, the entire wooded area was under several inches of water because Orlando gets a whole lot of rain in the spring and summer and many places will puddle up for months on end and then finally dry out later, and that's how the remains were finally revealed today.

Investigators very confident tonight that the remains will end up turning out to be that of Caylee Anthony for three primary reasons. The very close proximity to where the remains were found and the home of Anthonys. Number two, the stage of decomposition of the remains are consistent with what one would expect of a child left to decompose in the woods for about six months. That's how long Caylee has been missing. And thirdly, throughout this entire time, no other child of this age has been reported missing to the Orange County Sheriff's Department -- Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Phil, before I let you go, I want to ask you about the search of the house, which to me almost seems bizarre. You say that they are going -- there are flashes inside the bedroom and in the shed, in the back yard. Even we've been in there, taking photographs, shooting video in those precise areas. What in the world do they think is going to be there six months later that we didn't get, that they themselves didn't get, because they'd been in there at that time, too?

KEATING: They've been in there numerous times, even after you were there. We presume that this is directly related to what was found at the scene. The sheriff's department has officially told us there was no clothing found with these remains. However, there may have been some additional items. If it was, in fact, wrapped in some sort of bag or plastic and wrapped with duct tape, they possibly, logically would be looking for a similar match inside the Anthony home. But granted, as you mentioned, it's been six months. But clearly, they feel that they need to get some additional evidence pertaining to today's discovery of the remains.

I can quickly tell you that from the conversation we had with a spokesperson for the attorney of Casey Anthony, she was informed of this discovery today while she's in jail. Of course, she's in jail charged with first-degree murder, her trial date for murder now scheduled for March. That could change depending on this outcome. But she was described, Casey, as responding very poorly to this, a lot of tears, very upset.

And I spoke with a gentleman from the neighborhood, who coincidentally flew on the same plane with Cindy and George Anthony today, flying from LA all the way across the country back here. He said they looked very consumed. (SIC) And as soon as they landed, there was about 10 to 12 Orange County police officers meeting them at the jet way into the terminal. They were ushered out through a side door and escorted out of the airport that way. So there was absolutely no television footage whatsoever.

VAN SUSTEREN: Phil, thank you.

Captain Angelo Nieves of the Orange Country sheriff's office joins us by phone. Good evening, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: Captain, I imagine that this is -- I guess good news isn't exactly the word -- the right word to use, but at least it sort of moves the investigation forward, so I guess it's looked on with some sense of accomplishment tonight, assuming this is Caylee Anthony.

NIEVES: Correct. At this point, we're not providing any verification of the remains. It's still preliminary as part of the investigation until the medical examiner and the FBI labs provide us some definitive answers as to identification. But we're all continuing to move forward. As you know, we are at the residence, conducting a search warrant, as we speak, with our detectives.

VAN SUSTEREN: Captain, what is the process from here? The remains have been removed from the scene, but do they go to the medical examiner's office, do they get sent off to labs? What do you anticipated is the process?

NIEVES: They will be at the medical examiner's office. The medical examiner, Dr. G., will conduct her autopsy and working closely in collaboration with the FBI lab to make determinations as to what would be proper to send to the FBI lab for additional scientific follow-up and handling.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you been given some sort of preliminary indication as to when you can expect results?

NIEVES: Not at this time. They're going to move very deliberately, very carefully, obviously, as they would in any case. But obviously, this case has received a lot of attention, and we'll continue to do the investigative steps and methodology (ph) carefully as we proceed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any sheriff, or a deputy, rather, present at the autopsy? I mean, how do you sort of maintain sort of custody of these remains, since I realize this is an ongoing criminal investigation?

NIEVES: Yes, our investigators, Sergeant John Allen and his investigative team, they'll make a determination as to who will be present with the medical examiner during that process of the autopsy.

VAN SUSTEREN: And at what point did you -- did you make contact with the grandparents, Georgia and Cindy? Because they were en route from California today.

NIEVES: That's correct. Sergeant John Allen spoke to them, provided them a courtesy call due to the facts as they unfolded early this morning. Again, we're not providing any definitive identification, but he wanted to do the right thing in a professional organization, try and provide them a heads-up, as well as Lee Anthony. And the...

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you...

NIEVES: I'm sorry.

VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead, sir. I'm sorry.

NIEVES: The corrections office at the Orange County jail was also notified.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the area where the remains were found, about how far is that from the home?

NIEVES: Approximately about a quarter mile, not very far. It's in a wooded area. It's a suburban residential area. There's a school nearby. And it's what we consider a conservation wooded area. Several months ago, though, due to the hurricane from the weather patterns that were coming through there, that area was all under water.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you wouldn't -- so if you're on the road, you wouldn't see it from the road. If there were no water there, you know, you wouldn't see it from the road, it's a little deeper in the woods?

NIEVES: That's correct, approximately 20 to 25 feet off of the roadway into the heavily wooded area.

VAN SUSTEREN: So it's just almost a freak thing that the remains were discovered.

NIEVES: Yes, but definitely something that no one expects to find when they walk into a wooded area. This individual had occasion to walk in there, the meter reader, and found this unpleasant sighting, but obviously, something that he immediately notified law enforcement.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, it may be rich with clues. Captain, thank you, sir.

NIEVES: Thank you.

Watch Greta's interview

VAN SUSTEREN: Right now, we are waiting to find out if the remains in the bag are those of little Caylee Anthony, as the captain just noted. Caylee's mother, Casey, now behind bars, charged with first degree murder of her daughter. She sticks to her story that she dropped off little Caylee with a nanny in June and never saw her again.

Now, listen to what Caylee (SIC) said to her mother, Cindy, in a recently released jailhouse video. This visit was in July.


CINDY ANTHONY, GRANDMOTHER OF MISSING TODDLER: All I've tried to do is find Caylee for both of us.


CINDY ANTHONY: For all of us. And I'll do whatever (INAUDIBLE) takes.

CASEY ANTHONY: I feel the exact same way. That's exactly what I've been saying. I don't care what I have to do. When I told them I would lie, I would steal, I would do whatever by any means to get her back, that's exactly how I feel. It's the truth.

CINDY ANTHONY: Casey, we have to find her before her 3rd birthday.


CINDY ANTHONY: And it's coming up fast.

CASEY ANTHONY: I know. We have a couple weeks.

CINDY ANTHONY: I don't want to wait another minute, let alone...

CASEY ANTHONY: I don't want to wait another minute. I want -- I want her to be found, whether I'm still stuck in here or not. I don't care.

CINDY ANTHONY: I think when she's found, then you can tell everybody what you know, and you'll be released. Don't you think?

CASEY ANTHONY: Potentially? I don't know. Yuri has it set in his mind that I've done something.

CINDY ANTHONY: Well, he thinks -- he thinks you guys did something to Caylee.


VAN SUSTEREN: The Anthonys' home is only blocks from where the remains were found. Many people have combed the area. How could these remains not have been discovered earlier? Tim Miller of Equusearch has been twice to the area where the remains were found. Tim joins in Orlando.

Tim, did you actually search that particular area?

TIM MILLER, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH: You know, Nancy (SIC), we actually lost one of our four-wheelers in that area. It got underneath the water. We got to remember, when Caylee disappeared, Florida was going through a drought. And after her disappearance, Tropical Storm Faye came through and dumped just tons of water.

And it was the hardest decision I ever made when I had called that search off. And my biggest fear was that Caylee was going to be under the water and either a four-wheeler or a person or a horse or something would step on the remains, push it down farther in the mud or destroy the remains and jeopardize any future searches. And so we postponed that search for two more months. And then we came back in November. We did another search of that area we went to again. The area was still under water. It wasn't feasible to search it.

And we actually talked to a neighbor across the street that told us about a week-and-a-half, the water finally receded to the point that maybe somebody could have walked back there and seen something. So it's an area we had a huge interest in. And you know, looking back at it, I think it's the greatest decision I ever made was to go ahead and cancel the search at that time and not take a chance to jeopardize any future searches or ruin the remains.

So you know, I think that what's happening today, I feel in my heart it definitely is Caylee. There's no other missing children from around here. And I remember very early on in the search, Greta, saying I feel as though the best thing that could ever happen, the most we could ever hope for is to someday go to a funeral for a little Caylee, and it looks like today possibly that's going to become a reality. And maybe this little girl can have the dignity that she deserves, and we can all say goodbye to her.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tim, when you say that it was under water, how deep was the water? Because I don't have any sort of concept of this.

MILLER: Well, the water right there was probably about three feet deep. I mean, there was just a tremendous amount of water. And then when I flew back to Florida and I actually rented a small airplane and we flew the area I November, and there was still more water than we wanted to be here. But we re-searched areas that we couldn't search before because there was -- you know, previously there was water there. But that area still had standing water, and so we could to do an effective search, like we wanted to.

And every weekend, our Florida members have been out there doing small searches for Caylee, not nearly the scale that we did before. And you know, bottom line is that it appears as though she's been found, and this community can have some closure. And again, little Caylee can have that little funeral she deserves.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Tim, we -- you know, we all hoped that -- I mean -- I mean, I don't know if we -- I mean, we -- I guess everyone did presume that she was dead, so I guess we all hope that if this is little Caylee that it's a ton of clues are there to help prove the case and get justice for the little girl. Tim, thank you.

MILLER: Thanks, Greta.

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