Missing Fla. Girl's Mom Released From Jail

Casey Anthony, mother of missing toddler Caylee Anthony, is escorted from the Orange County Florida jail by her attorney Jose Baez, second from right, after posting a $500,000 dollar bond in Orlando, Fla., on Aug. 21, 2008.
AP PHOTO
The mother of a missing toddler was released from jail on $500,000 bail Thursday and returned to her parents' home, where authorities will monitor her with an electronic ankle device.

Casey Anthony, 22, said nothing as she left the Orange County jail Thursday. She faces charges of child neglect, making false statements and obstructing an investigation into the disappearance of 3-year-old Caylee, who has been missing since June.

Police say Casey Anthony lied to them and didn't report Caylee missing for more than a month. Caylee's grandmother reported her disappearance in July.

Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, escorted her out of the jail under a black umbrella amid a throng of reporters. He got into a scuffle with a journalist, pushing him out of the way.

Baez said Anthony whispered into his ear on her way out, "I'm innocent. I'm going to walk out of this place with my head held high."

Anthony, who had been jailed since mid-July, arrived several minutes later at her parents' home. She was driven straight into a garage, which was quickly closed so camera crews and reporters waiting outside could not see her. She did not emerge from the house to comment.

Once inside, she was fitted for an electronic monitoring device that plugs into her home phone. Her attorney said the first thing she asked to do was take a shower.

"Right now the family is in there hugging and enjoying time as a family together," Baez said outside the home. "There's a lot of tears, a lot of emotion."

Anthony was also arraigned Thursday, but did not attend the hearing. A written plea of not guilty was entered, according to court documents. A pretrial hearing was set for Nov. 5 and a trial for Nov. 17.

"The most important thing is that Casey is home and her parents are very grateful," family spokesman Larry Garrison said by phone Thursday. "Now we are asking the public to please help us find Caylee. Now more than ever, we are convinced that she was kidnapped."

A group from a California bail bonds company flew to Florida on Sunday to help Clearwater-based bondsman Albert Estes post the bond. They said they believe Anthony might be more likely to talk about her daughter's disappearance if released from jail.

Anthony told investigators she left Caylee in an apartment with a nanny June 9. But investigators say the apartment had been empty for several months.

She told detectives she didn't immediately call authorities to report Caylee missing because she was conducting her own investigation, according to an affidavit.

But authorities say Anthony, a single mother, has shown no remorse or concern for Caylee under questioning. Cadaver-sniffing dogs detected a scent in her car, and hair, dirt and a strange stain were found in the trunk. Investigators are still awaiting FBI tests on that evidence.
A neighbor told detectives Anthony had asked to borrow a shovel some time in June. Her father said she had stolen two gas cans from the garage and refused to let him get something from the trunk of her car. A boyfriend said she never told him in June that Caylee was missing.

Bounty hunter Leonard Padilla was also at the home and said a member of his team is staying with the family and sleeping there while they work on the case. A $225,000 reward for Caylee's return has been posted anonymously.

"I believe she made a mistake, handed her daughter off and she is alive," said Padilla, who predicted his team would find Caylee within a week.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said its investigation is continuing.

"The fact that Casey Anthony has bonded out of jail changes nothing in our investigation and our determination to resolve this case," the office said in a statement. "The simple fact of the matter is, people charged with crimes bond out of detention facilities every day."