Timeline: Case of missing Caylee Anthony captivates country

December 12, 2008 1:30:37 PM PST
The discovery of a child's skull in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 11 is the latest development in the case of missing Fla. toddler Caylee Anthony. Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, is currently in jail and charged with murder in the case. Caylee lived with her grandparents and her 22-year-old single mother, Casey, as seen in exclusive photos, many taken by Casey herself.

Following is a timeline of the events surrounding the little girl's disappearance and the investigation of her mother:

June 30, 2008: Casey Anthony's car towed. The family car Casey Anthony had been using was found abandoned in front of an Orlando, Fla., cash advance business and towed away. When the towing company called Casey's parents, Cindy and George Anthony, they became concerned. Casey reportedly had told her mother that she was going on a "mini-vacation" to Jacksonville, Fla. Cindy Anthony later discovered that her daughter had been staying with a boyfriend.

July 15, 2008: Caylee Anthony reported missing. Cindy Anthony called 911 and said, "I found out my granddaughter has been taken, she has been missing for a month." Casey Anthony allegedly told her family and police that she had not seen her daughter for 31 days and had launched her own investigation. In one of three calls placed to 911, Cindy Anthony said, "I found my daughter's car today and it smelled like there's been a dead body in the damn car." Cindy Anthony later retracted that statement, and the Anthony family rallied around Casey.

July 16, 2008: Casey Anthony arrested. Casey told police that she left Caylee at the apartment of a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, and that both were missing when she returned. Police found, among other discrepancies with her story, that the apartment had been vacant for more than 140 days. Casey was arrested and charged with child neglect.

July 22, 2008: New revelations at bond hearing. In a bond hearing for Casey Anthony, detectives revealed that they had found strands of hair that looked like Caylee's in the trunk of the Anthony family car, and that cadaver dogs had smelled human decomposition in the trunk. Bail was set at $500,000.

July 22, 2008: Casey Anthony called "person of interest." Officials said Casey Anthony is a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance and they were treating the case as a potential homicide.

July 24, 2008: Grandmother reports sighting of missing Caylee. Cindy Anthony told reporters that Caylee was spotted in Georgia, but police could not verify that claim.

Aug. 9, 2008: Caylee's third birthday. Birthday came and went with no sign of the missing child.

Aug. 17, 2008: Bounty hunter offers bond. The arrival of a Californian named Leonard Padilla added to the intrigue. A veteran bounty hunter with his own reality show, Padilla claimed he'd been contacted by Casey Anthony and would post her bond.

Aug. 21, 2008: Casey Anthony out of jail again. Casey Anthony was released from jail after Padilla posted her bond.

Aug. 30, 2008: Casey Anthony returned to jail. Casey Anthony taken into custody on new charges, including petty theft.

Sept. 1, 2008: Police said they believe Caylee Anthony is not alive. The Orange County Sheriff's Office issued a statement saying that based on evidence that wasn't yet public and FBI tests, it believed "there is a strong probability that Caylee [Anthony] is deceased."

Sept. 5, 2008: Casey Anthony released from jail.

Sept. 25, 2008: Babysitter files lawsuit. Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman Casey Anthony reportedly named as a suspect in the case, filed a defamation lawsuit against Casey.

Sept., 29, 2008: Casey Anthony returned to jail. Casey Anthony was arrested again and returned to jail on multiple charges including child neglect, lying to investigators, petty theft and use of a forged check, but wasn't charged in conjunction with her daughter's disappearance.

Oct. 2, 2008: Casey Anthony named a suspect in her daughter's disappearance.

Oct. 14, 2008: Casey Anthony charged with first degree murder. Casey was also charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter and providing false information to law enforcement.

Oct. 24, 2008: Police report evidence of body decomposition and chloroform in Casey Anthony's car.

Dec. 5, 2008: Jail releases Casey Anthony's visitation videos.

Dec. 11, 2008: Skull found near Anthony home. Skeletal remains of a young child were found a half-mile from the Anthony's home.


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