crimesider

Caylee Anthony Autopsy Reveals Grim Details But Sheds Little Light On Mystery

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Another clue revealed and yet prosecutors are no closer to explaning how or why Caylee Anthony died.

According to an autopsy released on Friday, duct tape was placed over the face of the slain toddler before her body began decomposing, and her remains were scattered among trash bags protruded by roots. The report didn't say whether the duct tape was put on before or after her death.

Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, has been charged in the girl's death. She has pleaded not guilty and says a baby sitter kidnapped her toddler. Caylee's grandparents are supporting their daughter in the case and had fought to prevent the autopsy from being released to the public.

Caylee's remains were found in the woods in Orlando last December, six months after she disappeared. They were apparently scattered by animals and while most of her body was recovered, the autopsy says small bones from her wrists, hands, fingers and ankles were missing.

Also found with the remains were glittery pink letters made of cloth that spell out the phrase "Big Trouble Comes Small." The letters appear to be the remains of a shirt.

The report said no drugs were detected in Caylee's remains, no trauma was evident on her skeleton and the decay of the body prevented more specific analysis of her killing. "Although the cause of death cannot be determined with certainty," wrote Dr. Jan Garavaglia, chief medical examiner in Orange County, "the manner of death is homicide."

The report was put out following an order from Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland, despite objections from Caylee's grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony.

"They are apprehensive and are not looking forward to the speculation and the dissection of the report by everybody who wants to make a comment on it," said Bradley Conway, an attorney for the grandparents.

A spokeswoman for the defense attorney representing mother Casey Anthony said she had no comment.

Also released Friday was a forensic report prepared for the Orange County Sheriff's Office by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee examining the trunk of Casey Anthony's car. The analysis found 51 chemicals in a carpet sample, 80 percent of them consistent with decomposition, though some of those compounds may overlap with known or possible gasoline components.


  • Mike Ballou

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