Expert: Caylee Autopsy Blurs Case Vs. Mom

This undated photo released by the Orange County Sheriff's Office in Orlando, Fla. on July 18, 2008, shows Caylee Marie Anthony, 2, who has been missing more than a month. Her mother, Casey Marie Anthony has been arrested for alleged child neglect and providing false information to law enforcement. AP/Orange County Sheriff's Dept.

Duct tape was placed over the face of slain toddler Caylee Anthony before her body began decomposing, and her remains were scattered among trash bags protruded by roots, according to an autopsy released Friday.

The autopsy says the girl was killed, though the method was unclear. The report also 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. She waited a month to report Caylee's disappearance to authorities. Prosecutors say they'll seek the death penalty if Casey Anthony is convicted of first degree murder.

The autopsy revealed "little new," says CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann.

And defense team member and leading forensics expert Dr. Lawrence Kobilinksy points out, "We don't know the exact cause of death, and it leaves open a lot of questions."

Caylee's remains were found less than a mile from her home in woods in Orlando, Fla. 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. The child's grandparents, who are still standing behind their daughter, Casey, fought its release.

"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, George and Cindy Anthony.

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.

On The Early Show Saturday Edition, Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said, "Essentially, we have two distinct areas. We have the vehicle, we have the scene where the child was found. And, of course, the linkage is, I think, weak, and it's is a matter of how you interpret, how you put these things together."

Prosecutors, he told co-anchor Erica Hill, have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the link was there.

He even called into question the conclusion that Caylee was slain. "The determination that this was a homicide is really based on circumstantial evidence," Kobilinsky said. "The way the body was found, the position, and, you know, the whole story that surrounds the case. "

And the toxicology results in the autopsy, he asserted, don't help prosecutors, either. "I think the prosecution has a story, they say that chloroform has been used in the death of the child, and they have to prove that. So far there is no evidence based upon the autopsy that that was involved in the case whatsoever."
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