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Content warning: This article contains references to murder, sexual assault, and child abuse some may find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.
In 2008, Casey Anthony stood trial in Orange County, Florida, for the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony. The nation watched as the infamous case unfolded in the media, as details of Caylee’s disappearance came to light. Now, for her first on-screen interview since the trial, Casey Anthony explains “her side of the story” in Peacock’s latest true crime docuseries, Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies.
What happened in Casey Anthony’s trial?
Caylee Anthony was last seen on June 16, 2008, according to CNN, but was not reported missing until July 15, 2008, after George and Cindy Anthony, Casey’s parents, learned that her car had been impounded and discovered a foul odor coming from the vehicle. Cindy called 911 and the next day, Anthony was arrested for child neglect, giving false statements, and obstructing an investigation after she lied to the police about her daughter’s whereabouts. For five months, law enforcement searched for the missing child, but on December 11, 2008, Caylee’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area by the Anthony’s home in Orlando.
Two months prior, in October 2008, a grand jury indicted Anthony on capital murder, after human remains were found in the trunk of her car, CNN reported. Anthony pleaded not guilty.
The trial began in May 2011. The prosecution alleged that Anthony used chloroform and duct tape to suffocate and render her daughter unconscious, then put her body in the trunk of her car before disposing of it. The defense argued that Caylee drowned in the Anthony’s pool and that George (Casey’s father) panicked and told Casey that they needed to cover up her death. Anthony’s defense lawyer, Jose Baez, also alleged that George sexually molested Casey as a child. According to CNN, George denied these allegations.
On July 5, 2011, a 12-person jury found Casey not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child. She was convicted on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement, for which she served jail time.
Is Casey Anthony in jail?
Casey Anthony was acquitted in July 2011, but was convicted on four misdemeanor counts of providing false information. She was sentenced to four years — one year for each count, according to CNN — but with credit. Having already served three years, she was released from jail on July 17, 2011, in part for good behavior.
Where is Casey Anthony now?
In 2017, Casey Anthony told The Associated Press that she is “still not even certain” about what led to her daughter’s death. According to the outlet, Anthony, at the time, still lived in South Florida in the home of Patrick McKenna, who served as the lead investigator on her defense team. She worked for McKenna, doing some investigative work.
She briefly launched a photography business in 2015, the outlet reports, but dissolved the company in 2018. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Anthony filed paperwork to start a private investigation business, called Case Research & Consulting Services, LLC, in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2020. The Sentinel reported that, at the time, Anthony was not licensed as a private investigator in the state of Florida.
Now, Anthony’s story will play out once again in Peacock’s docuseries, Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies, which comes out November 29.
According to People, Anthony accuses her father, George, for her daughter’s death, and that for one month, she was under the impression that Caylee was still alive. “He was standing there with her,” she says in the docuseries, per People. “She was soaking wet. He handed her to me. Said it was my fault. That I caused it. But he didn't rush to call 911 and he wasn’t trying to resuscitate her. I collapsed with her in my arms. She was heavy, and she was cold… He takes her from me and he immediately softens his tone and says ‘It’s going to be ok.’ I wanted to believe him. He took her from me and he went away.”
“During the 31 days, I genuinely believed that Caylee was still alive,” she continues. “My father kept telling me she was ok. I had to keep following his instructions. He told me what to do. I tried to act as normal as I could.”
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