Caylee's Mom Goes Home Again
By Amy L. Edwards | Sarah Lundy and Walter Pacheco | Sentinel Staff Writers
Posted September 6, 2008
Casey Anthony returned home from jail Friday to face renewed protests over the disappearance of her 3-year-old daughter and new questions about whether her family is making money off the case.
The 22-year-old walked out of the Orange County Jail at 10:13 a.m. after being fitted with an ankle bracelet to monitor her movements. Surrounded by defense attorney Jos? Baez and two bodyguards, she disappeared into a black SUV and motored to the home of her parents after posting $500,000-plus bail on charges of child neglect, giving false statements and passing bad checks.
Sporting a black baseball cap and white T-shirt featuring a picture of missing Caylee Marie, Anthony kept her head down and said nothing as she walked out of jail. On arriving at her family's east Orange County home, the SUV pulled into the garage and quickly disappeared from view as the door rolled down.
About a dozen people waited with reporters across the street from the Anthony home -- many of them suspicious that the young woman knows what happened to her child and has not told authorities.
A 2-year-old stood quietly at her mother's feet, holding onto a sign that read, "How could you kill a baby like me!!!"
Amber Railing, the toddler's mother, said she doesn't understand Anthony's behavior since Caylee disappeared.
"She shows no emotion," Railing said. "If it was my child and I was sitting in jail, I'd be ranting and raving until they let me out of jail to find my child."
Protester Jeff Zwick carried a sign that said, "Orlando's O.J.?" and "Baby Killer."
"I just want her to know that the community's not happy with her," he said. "She knows where the kid's at . . . . She needs to start talking."
Caylee was reported missing July 15, several weeks after she supposedly disappeared. Anthony has told investigators that a baby sitter took the child, but sheriff's investigators maintain she is lying. The lead investigator in the case has said evidence in the trunk of the mother's abandoned car suggests the presence of a body at one time -- and that it likely was Caylee's.
The case has attracted national attention, including a story Friday night on ABC's 20/20. At least one protester and several sources close to the case speculated Friday that the network had offered the Anthonys money for an interview. ABC denied those reports.
Mark NeJame, attorney for Anthony's parents, Cindy and George Anthony, said the couple had not received any money for photos, videos or interviews.
"They are attempting to find Caylee," he said. "They want the focus on finding Caylee." They have been offered money and "have refused without hesitation," he said.
"It's absolutely out of control," NeJame said of the rumors.
Casey Anthony had been free on bail until last week, when deputy sheriffs arrived to arrest her on charges that she stole and then used checks belonging to a friend. She returned to jail amid the jeers of protesters who had appeared outside the house.
Two of the people watching Friday as the SUV arrived were in disbelief that someone again posted Anthony's bond and she was able to return home.
Denise Freideman and Anita Castillo spent several hours searching for Caylee on Thursday with Texas EquuSearch, a volunteer search-and-recovery team working on the case. The Clermont women planned to return to the task Friday, but first they stopped outside the Anthony home.
"We just couldn't believe she is being released," Castillo said.
The women said they already had walked through thick brush and swamp, where they encountered snakes. Volunteers were told to keep an eye out for rolled-up rugs, duffel bags and bones, they said.
Mandy Albritton, search director for EquuSearch, said those are standard items to search for. Volunteers are also routinely told to keep an eye out for children's shoes, baby blankets, tire tracks and freshly disturbed dirt.
EquuSearch is expecting more than 1,000 volunteers today and Sunday, Albritton said.
Meanwhile, a Department of Children and Families spokeswoman confirmed Friday that the state agency has an open child-abuse investigation involving Anthony.
Two DCF officials met with Anthony at the Orange County Jail on Thursday. "That meeting is a normal part of any investigation. DCF officials are obligated to meet face-to-face with a parent who is being investigated for alleged child abuse," agency spokeswoman Carrie Hoeppner said.
"Any information that we might obtain in our investigation will be provided to the Orange County Sheriff's Office in the hope of locating this child."
Source: Orlando Sentinel