CNN is reporting this morning that the remains found near the home of George and Cindy Anthony have been tentatively identified as belonging to their 3-year-old granddaughter, Caylee Marie Anthony. Police believe the remains are Caylee’s because they are consistent with a child of Caylee’s age, they were found near the home of Caylee’s grandparents, and no other children have been reported missing in the area.
A corpse has been tentatively identified as missing toddler Caylee Anthony’s, attorneys for her mother told a Florida judge on Friday.
Orange County, Florida, sheriff’s spokesman Carlos Padilla gave three reasons for the belief the body is Caylee’s:
• No other children have been reported missing in the area.
• The remains are consistent with a child of Caylee’s age.
• They were found in close proximity to the home of Caylee’s grandparents.
Lawyer Linda Kenney Baden said in court that that investigators said they “were proceeding as if this were little Caylee Anthony.”
Strands of hair found with the remains, found Thursday a half mile from the home of Caylee’s grandparents, are the same color as the 3-year-old’s, the lawyer said. The age and measurements also were a match for Caylee, Baden added.
Prosecutors said the request was premature, given that the remains have not been positively identified. The defense countered that a tentative identification had been made. Watch how the corpse resembles Caylee »
Overnight, investigators searched the home of Caylee’s grandparents and took several bags of potential evidence, Orange County, Florida, Sheriff Kevin Beary said Friday morning.
Caylee often lived in the house with her grandparents and her mother, who was arrested in October and charged with murder.
Investigators “concluded there were certain things they wanted to be looking for” and searched the home, Beary said in an interview broadcast on ABC News.
A utility worker discovered the remains in a plastic bag around 9:30 a.m. Thursday and alerted authorities, sheriff’s spokesman Jim Solomons said.
Caylee has been missing since June in a case that has received national attention.
The remains were taken to the county medical examiner’s office and will be sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, Beary said Thursday.
Meanwhile, investigators Friday continued searching the area where the remains were found.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
Attorney Mark NeJame, who once represented Cindy and George Anthony, arrived at the Hopespring Drive address this afternoon to comment on the latest developments.
NeJame learned of the discovery of skeletal remains while in Puerto Rico on a one-day business trip. He was shocked when he heard the news.
“Sadly, it was what was expected,” NeJame said. “I was hoping at some point that Caylee would be found.”
Although the medical examiner has not determined the identity of the remains, NeJame believes they belong to the missing toddler.
“It’s more than a hunch,” he said. “I have had an opinion for a long time. I absolutely believe that it is [Caylee].”
NeJame resigned as the Anthonys’ representative in November because they did not take his advice, he said.
“Everyone hoped that a miracle would occur and that Caylee would show up,” NeJame said, adding that he felt more comfortable expressing his opinions about the girl’s fate now that a body has been found.
Earlier today a man who identified himself only as a private investigator went inside the home. He entered through the garage door and appeared to be in the back yard near the shed. He did not appear to remove anything from the home.
When asked if he was working for the Anthony family, he declined comment.
An Orange County deputy sheriff is stationed outside the family home and a cruiser is blocking the driveway, although sheriff’s officials are done searching the house.
From the Los Angeles Times:
A meter reader may have solved a heartbreaking five-month mystery Thursday when he stumbled across a plastic bag containing what investigators suspect are the remains of Caylee Marie Anthony.
The worker walked into a patch of woods less than half a mile from where the missing toddler lived and saw the bag on the ground. When he picked it up, a child’s skull rolled out.
The area had been underwater when volunteers and officials searched for signs of the girl, who was reported missing in July.
Within hours, dozens of reporters, police and onlookers had gathered in the rain. One man set up a flower-covered cross. Another openly sobbed. A nearby elementary school released students through a back exit, steering them away from the frantic scene.
Nothing immediately indicated that the remains were Caylee’s. But Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary said his investigators and the FBI would work around the clock to identify the child.
“Now the investigation continues,” Beary said. “There is a lot of lab work to do. There is a lot of DNA work to do. There is a lot of crime scene work to do.”