Chloroform traces were found in the trunk of the car driven by Casey Anthony, the jailed mother of missing 3-year-old Caylee Marie.
Sources told the Orlando Sentinel that the chemical -- which can be used to knock people out -- was detected by preliminary tests conducted by an FBI laboratory. It was detected in the same trunk that an official last week said air-sample tests show once held a decomposing human body.
Anthony, 22, will go before a judge this morning on additional check-fraud and theft charges that were filed against her Wednesday. The charges stem from more than $700 in checks that Anthony is accused of stealing from a friend in July and then used at Target stores, Winn-Dixie and cash to herself.
She already faces charges of child neglect and filing a false statement to law enforcement stemming from the investigation into daughter Caylee's disappearance. The child was reported missing more than six weeks ago.
The role of the chloroform in Caylee's disappearance was not clear Wednesday. However, there is evidence showing that Casey Anthony may have been researching the chemical on the Internet, sources said.
Chloroform has been depicted in movies and on television when a person uses a rag soaked in the liquid to cover the mouth and nose of another, making the victim lose consciousness. A person can die if too much of the chemical is inhaled. Chloroform also is the byproduct of contact between chlorine used in swimming pools and skin, sweat or urine. Commercially, it is used in refrigeration.
6 charges filed
Investigators accuse Anthony of writing one check July 10 at an Orlando Target store for $155.47 and another check the same day at a Winter Park Target for $137.77.
Last week, Anthony was arrested at her family's Lee Vista-area home and charged with uttering a forged check, fraudulent use of personal identification information and petty theft related to one of the alleged stolen checks she wrote at an Orlando Target for $111.01.
On Wednesday, about 65 volunteers with Texas EquuSearch continued t look for Caylee, and Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary pleaded with the public to help.
"We need to try to find some closure on this case," he said. "That's why EquuSearch is here."
The sheriff pledged to give EquuSearch $5,000 to assist in the search, as well as use of the agency's airboats. Beary said EquuSearch is a reputable operation with expert volunteers.
"Regardless, whether she's alive or passed away, we need to find Caylee," Beary said.
The search command center is in the parking lot behind Holiday Inn Select, 5750 T.G. Lee Blvd., near Orlando International Airport. Volunteers must be 18 or older.
Meanwhile, Casey Anthony's parents, Cindy and George Anthony, met Wednesday afternoon with high-profile lawyer Mark NeJame.
NeJame wouldn't go into detail about what was discussed at the meeting. But he said the family is frustrated that the public and the media have lost focus of the search for Caylee.
The Anthonys wanted to better understand the legal process and the media to figure out what's happening, NeJame said.
Source: Orlando Sentinel