Missing Orlando girl likely dead

Casey Anthony, left, mother of missing 3-year-old Caylee Anthony, arrives Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008 at her attorney's office with bodyguard Robert Dick in Kissimmee, Fla. Investigators in the Casey Anthony case are sharing the FBI's forensic lab results with state prosecutors today, a day after air-sample tests from her car showed it once held a decomposing human body.

Orlando Sentinel, Red Huber/The Associated Press
Published: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 12:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 12:27 p.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. A missing 3-year-old girl's decomposing body was likely in the trunk of her arrested mother's car, the lead detective in the case said.

Casey Anthony had been called a person of interest in Caylee Anthony's disappearance, but Orange County Sheriff's Sgt. John Allen's statements Sunday were the strongest by investigators accusing the 22-year-old mother of harming her.

"We clearly have evidence that indicates there was a dead body in the trunk of Casey's car, and that body was Caylee," Allen told WFTV-TV. He also made similar comments to WESH-TV. He cited forensic evidence, but declined to be specific about what it showed.

The sheriff's office did not return calls and e-mails from The Associated Press on Monday.

Anthony was re-arrested Friday on theft charges unrelated to Caylee. She already faced child neglect, false statement and obstruction charges. Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, has repeatedly said his client doesn't know what happened to Caylee.

Detectives disclosed at a July hearing Anthony's trunk contained hair samples appearing to belong to Caylee and a suspicious stain, which glowed under black light. They also said the car smelled strongly of human decomposition.

Caylee was reported missing in mid-July, about a month after she was last seen. Casey Anthony told investigators she dropped the girl off with a baby sitter and went to work. Sheriff's detectives have said those details, and just about everything else Anthony has told them, was a lie.

Anthony was released on $500,000 bail Aug. 21, but returned to custody following the new charges. She was re-arrested wearing a T-shirt with Caylee's picture, before a crowd of reporters for weeks camped out near her family's home. Protesters had gathered outside calling her a murderer and screaming she should be in jail.

Prosecutors have offered Anthony limited immunity in exchange for cooperation, but that was set to expire Tuesday.

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