The State of Florida v. Casey Anthony: Day 8

By Nikki Namdar
Special to Valencia Voice

New evidence was revealed in the case against Casey Anthony Thursday, as recorded statements and jail interviews from July, 2008 were provided to the 12 men and women deciding Casey’s fate.

Casey was first arrested on July 16, 2008 for numerous charges, including providing false information to law enforcement officers. Her arrest came the day after her mother, Cindy Anthony, contacted the Orange County Police Department to report Casey’s 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony, was missing.

Casey Anthony provided law enforcement, including lead detective Yuri Melich, with invalid information and bad addresses when filing the report for her alleged missing daughter.

Melich’s testimony revealed Anthony’s claims that she left Caylee with the nanny of nearly two years, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, or Zanny, to be false. Anthony said the last time she saw her daughter was on June 9, 2008 when she dropped the toddler off at Zanny’s residence in Sawgrass apartments, at the end of a staircase leading to the babysitter’s home.

“She’s the last person I’ve seen my daughter with,” Anthony said to the Melich.

Melich said Anthony directed police to the various residences Zanny has lived over time, but called them “bad addresses.” One location she led the officers to turned out to be a nursing home.

The detective also testified about following Anthony to Universal Studios theme park in an attempt to locate the office where she claimed she worked along with fellow employees Anthony had named as witnesses. Anthony admitted to Melich and assistant manager of loss prevention, Leonard Tutora, that she did not work there after being unable to locate her office.

“She looked at me, her hands in her back pocket and said, ‘I don’t work here,’ ” said Tutora in his testimony.

Recordings of an interrogation conducted on Universal grounds were played to the jury.

“Everything you have told me so far has been a lie,” Melich said at the start of the session. He stated Casey’s statements were very convincing because of the level of detail, but that he recognized them as false.

Melich: Pretty much everything you told me is a lie, including where Caylee is right now.

Casey: I still don’t know where she is.

Melich: Sure you do.

It was Anthony’s inability to back up her statements in this interrogation session that ultimately led to her arrest.

“I didn’t understand why the mother of a missing child would to take it to this extent,” Melich said in cross-examination, adding, “She was adamant that her daughter was with this Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.”

Numerous recordings showed Anthony repeatedly insisting that her main focus was finding her missing child and cooperatively provided officers, her parents and her brother with information that could lead to her daughter’s whereabouts.

“She’s the one thing in this world that I love more than then anything,” Anthony said, crying.

In a recorded jail video conversation with her brother, Lee Anthony, Casey expressed similar feelings.

“All I want is to see [Caylee] again,” Casey said. “To hear her laugh, see her smile … Nothing else matters at this point.”

At the same visitation, Lee asked his sister questions in order to retrieve more information in finding his niece.

“Check things locally,” said Casey. “Things that are familiar to us personally.”

Casey’s parents, Cindy and George Anthony, visited Casey that same day, eliciting similar comments from Casey.

“My gut is telling me that she’s okay, she’s not far,” she said. “She’s not far. I know in my heart she isn’t far, I can feel it.”