Toddler's remains yield no clue to death
3-year-old went missing in June
ORLANDO, Fla. - Skeletal remains found in the woods are the Florida 3-year-old who has been missing since June, but they don't reveal any clues about how she was killed, a county medical examiner said yesterday.
A utility worker stumbled upon the remains last week, less than a half-mile from where the girl lived. DNA tests confirm that the remains match Caylee Anthony's genetic profile, said the medical examiner, Dr. Jan Garavaglia.
Caylee's mother, 22-year-old Casey Anthony, was indicted in October on first-degree murder and other charges, even though no body was found. She has insisted that she left the girl with a baby sitter in June, but she didn't report her missing until July.
It took authorities several days to analyze the remains, and some tests are still being completed. Some of the bones were as small as a pebble and had been scattered, and the fragments were hard to find by excavators who searched on their hands and knees, authorities said. The bone fragments did not reveal any trauma before death, Garavaglia said, but exactly what happened to the girl remains a mystery.
"Bottom line is, folks, no child should have to go through this," said Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary.
A search team said it did not check the wooded area sooner because it was submerged in water. Beary said his department was investigating reports that the utility worker who called in the tip leading to the discovery of the remains had tried several times in August to call in his suspicion about a bag in the area.
"If we missed a window of opportunity we don't know," he said. "I'm not throwing anybody under the bus because we don't know. That's why we conduct an administrative review."
Casey Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, was with her at the Orange County Jail shortly after she found out the news, said Todd Black, a spokesman for the attorney.
She was notified about 15 minutes before the news conference about the positive identification. Black wouldn't comment on her reaction.
Brad Conway, an attorney who represents George and Cindy Anthony, Casey's parents, said they will cooperate with investigators.
"They know now their precious granddaughter is safe and can serve as a guardian angel to protect missing children and their families," Conway said.