It is a case that has captivated the country. In the summer of 2008, Orlando, Fla. toddler Caylee Anthony disappeared, only to be discovered six months later a short distance from her home, her skeletal remains stuffed in plastic bags and her mouth sealed with duct tape.
Her mother, 22-year-old Casey Anthony, was charged with Caylee's murder after not reporting her daughter missing for a month, and allegedly lying to police. With Casey facing a murder trial and the possibility of the death penalty, her parents, Cindy and George Anthony, are standing by their daughter as they search for the truth.
Now, for the first time, three of Casey's defense lawyers - Jose Baez, Linda Kenney Baden and Todd Macaluso - discuss the case in an exclusive interview with CBS News' "The Early Show" anchor Maggie Rodriguez on "48 Hours Mystery," Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Excerpts from the "48 Hours Mystery" interview are below:
KENNEY BADEN: The state had led you to believe that there's duct tape around the mouth.
RODRIGUEZ: Oh, you're saying there's not?
KENNEY BADEN: All we can say is that's going to be a disputed issue.
BAEZ: I think they botched this from the very beginning by arresting Casey Anthony without fully investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this child's disappearance.
KENNEY BADEN: It was ruined and spoiled in a lot of ways. For instance…the most important piece of evidence that the state thought they had, which is this demonizing duct tape, was contaminated by the FBI.
A lab technician's DNA was found on the duct tape. Along with DNA belonging to an unidentified person…
KENNEY BADEN: Another party that did not belong to the FBI, did not belong to law enforcement, did not belong to Casey or any of her family members that is on that duct tape.
MACALUSO: A stranger. It was a stranger involved.
KENNEY BADEN: Somebody else is the killer of this child.
BAEZ: They want you to believe that this 22-year-old girl is a master forensic sleuth who could outwit and outsmart the entire FBI and still be dumb enough to leave her child's body off the side of the road…a block from her house.
But authorities say they have evidence that Casey premeditated the crime, conducting incriminating research on a family computer…. The subjects included "neck-breaking," "household weapons," "shovel," and "how to make chloroform."
KENNEY BADEN: You just assumed that Casey was conducting those searches.
RODRIGUEZ: No, I didn't assume. That's what the state says in their evidence.
KENNEY BADEN: They're absolutely mistaken.
RODRIGUEZ: So you don't deny that the searches happened, but you say it wasn't Casey?
KENNEY BADEN: Correct.
While the defense claims that the prosecution's evidence is not concrete, detectives have said that the fact that Casey did not immediately report Caylee's disappearance, as well as Casey's own behavior during the month her daughter was later said to be missing, which included partying at nightclubs, are damning. But Casey's lawyers and her parents say that things are not as they seem.
RODRIGUEZ: Does it seem odd to you that she would be out dancing when Caylee was missing?
GEORGE: Casey told us she was trying to find where Caylee was at. There's some kind of a connection there somewhere.
BAEZ: Things are not always as simple as they seem.
RODRIGUEZ: Would you care to elaborate?
RODRIGUEZ: We have photographs that show Casey was out partying while her daughter was supposedly missing. How will you explain to a jury how a good mother who's worried about her daughter is capable of doing that?
BAEZ: Everything will come out at its proper time and place.
Rodriguez also spoke with Casey's former fiancé, Jesse Grund. Grund and Anthony had only dated for six weeks in early 2005. But months after they broke up, she told him that she was pregnant with his child. A paternity test would soon reveal that he was not Caylee's father, but Grund was committed to the baby. He assumed the role of father and proposed to Casey.
GRUND: Caylee was a really easy baby, I gotta be honest…so wonderful. I fell in love with her as soon as saw her.
[A paternity test] said zero-percent probability that I was the biological father. It was relieving and heartbreaking at the same time. I didn't want anybody else to be that little girl's father except for me.
I could have just jumped ship and left. But that was never my intention.
RODRIGUEZ: It didn't matter that Caylee wasn't his…Jesse was in love with his new family. But just 5 months after she said "yes," Casey called off the engagement.
GRUND: She claimed I loved Caylee more than I loved her.
RODRIGUEZ: What do you think happened to Caylee?
GRUND: Honestly, I don't know… The Casey that I knew was incapable of hurting a hair on Caylee's head… But this person, this dark, selfish, remorseless individual that sits in jail right now, I'm not sure what she's capable of.