A Year Later, Caylee's Kin Helping Others

The grandparents of a murdered central Florida two-year old say the father of a missing northern Florida five-year-old is making a mistake by rejecting their offers to come to his aid.

"When your child's missing, you take any bit of help that you can," Cindy Anthony remarked to Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez Tuesday. "You take every help. You don't turn anybody away. You can't turn anybody away."

Cindy's daughter, Casey Anthony, 23, has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the death of Casey's daughter, Caylee Anthony. Prosecutors say they'll seek the death penalty.

Caylee was last seen by Cindy and her husband, George Anthony, a year ago. It wasn't until a month later that Casey revealed Caylee was missing. Casey was arrested in October. Caylee's body was found in December. Casey's trial is tentatively set for this coming October.

Casey has claimed Caylee was with a babysitter when she vanished.

Cindy Anthony was responding Tuesday to the recent rejection of efforts by her and George to help Ronald Cummings, a 25-year-old northern Florida man whose daughter, Haleigh Cummings, has been missing since early February.

Haleigh was reported missing when Ronald Cummings returned home from work to his mobile home in a heavily wooded area north of Satsuma. Ronald Cummings' girlfriend, Misty Croslin, 17, says she tucked Haleigh into her own bed at 8 o'clock and, when she woke up, Haleigh had vanished.

Rodriguez reminded Cindy and George Anthony that, in nixing their efforts to reach out to them, Ronald Cummings had said they were doing so because have their own agenda.

"They have every right to say what they want to say," George observed to Rodriguez, "because they are controlling that. And I understand that. We're just here to help in any way we can -- just a little bit of support. I'll stand in the background. I'm not gonna be there in the forefront. I never was at the beginning.

"I was just offering some support, some moral support and some ways that he could possibly bring more awareness for his child. That's what I was trying to help with. ... And if he called and said, 'George, I need your help, I'd still be there to help him. I'm not going to stop unless he tells me to stop. But I understand. It's a tough situation for everybody."

Cindy told Rodriguez Cummings is erring in turning her and George away. "You know," Cindy said, "that one exposure of your child's face out there could be that one time. So, you know, to him I say, you made a mistake.

"We're the ones who got national attention for their daughter the first night, because I was on the phone with national media. And that was the day of Caylee's memorial, Feb. 10. We had just gotten home from her memorial and heard about Haleigh. So we hurried up and made desperate phone calls to people in the national media to say, 'Hey, start covering the story.' And that was a day that I should have been home just worrying about myself."

Cindy wept when telling Rodriguez how she feels at this point. "It's been a year," Cindy recalled. "Yesterday was a tough day. Today is a tough day. Every day has been a tough day this last year. And I just miss her. I just miss her so much."

George said, "The last time I saw her was June 16, one year ago today. I woke up with her in the morning at 7:30, got a chance to have breakfast with her. Just before 1:00 that day, I didn't ever realize that that'd be the last time I would see her, have a chance to kiss her, hold her. I would hear her call me Jo-Jo, and put her in a car and wave good-bye to her."

Cindy and George have set up a foundation in Caylee's memory "to continue to bring awareness of children, you know, children that are missing," Cindy says, and give their families emotional and financial support.
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