Remember Casey Anthony? It’s been a long time since we’ve heard her name in the news. Almost ten years ago, back in 2008, Casey Anthony was accused of killing her two-year-old daughter. Dark stuff, right? The case was one of those few that were publicized like crazy. For whatever reason, everyone was completely interested in knowing all about the case. It’s as if people didn’t realize that horrendous crimes like this, unfortunately, happen all the time.
So much of the case was spent talking about Casey’s character: she was such a sweet person! She would never do something like this because look how great she is! She must be innocent, and the babysitter must have kidnapped and killed Caylee like Casey claimed. Even after she was declared not guilty of the accused crime, news outlets have followed what she’s been up to, from the tattoos she’s gotten to her personal relationships. But what people don’t really talk about was Casey’s killed daughter, Caylee. And we’re not talking about what happened to her, necessarily, but herself. As a person.
You might not think there’s a whole lot to know about Caylee — she was only a couple of years old, after all. How interesting could she have been in her tiny life? To you skeptics, we answer: very interesting. Just because a person is young doesn’t mean there aren’t important things to know about her, things that may have even been pertinent in her mother’s trial. Here are fifteen things you didn’t know about Caylee Anthony.
15. She Didn’t Like Bedtime
Surprise, surprise: a toddler who doesn’t like bedtime. Who would have guessed?!
No, Caylee Anthony did not like bedtime. Like all children, she wanted to play all day and all night until the irresistible magnetism of sleep overtook her and she would drop. Casey Anthony admitted to giving her daughter cold medicine and sleep aids occasionally to help her sleep, which led prosecutors and the judge himself to theorize that perhaps Casey had given her daughter an overdose of chloroform (which is, of course, an illegal medical solution in the United States) in efforts to calm her down and get her to sleep. They theorize that she panicked after having accidentally knocked her daughter out for good and disposed of the body in order to cover up her mistake. It’s possible that this is true, but it doesn’t explain the duct tape that was found over Caylee’s mouth and nose when her body was found.
14. She Was More Expensive in Death Than in Life
There are a lot of theories about why Casey did it, if she even did it. Casey was not charged with the murder of her child, but there are still plenty of people (actually, a majority of people) that are quite certain she did it; why else would she have lied time and time again and crafted all those numerous stories if all she was doing was covering up her innocence? Was she frustrated with her daughter and simply the poor parent we all knew her to be? Was she negligent, and it was all an accident? Or was she simply unfit to be a parent and knew it? Some theorize she did it because she couldn’t care for Caylee either financially or physically. Well, we hope it wasn’t about saving money because Casey’s trial literally made her go bankrupt. In 2011, she was charged with owing a total of $217,000. She declared bankruptcy in 2013, saying she had about $1,000 in assets and about $800,000 in liabilities, including legal fees.
13. Caylee Had a Close Relationship With Her Grandma… Really Close
When Casey Anthony finally admitted her pregnancy to her parents, which was long after conception, she didn’t really have anyone else to turn to. She was unsure who the father truly was even though she was dating (and was later engaged to) someone she knew was not the father, and she didn’t have enough money or resources to support the child on her own. So she moved in with her parents, Cindy and George. The two were wonderfully supportive of the child from day one, but perhaps more supportive than Casey would have liked. Her fiance remembered Cindy “calling herself ‘mommy’ to Caylee right in front of Casey.” Cindy spent most of her time caring for Caylee while Casey was at work (at a job that law enforcement officials later discovered she had been fired from several months prior) or hanging out with friends, and Caylee may have been, to Cindy, a new lease on life — another chance to care for a child.
12. Caylee Was Reported Missing by Her Grandma, Not Her Mom
Most people know the basics of the Casey Anthony trial: that a young girl went missing, was reported as missing suspiciously late, that the mother was suspected of killing her, and that the mother was found not guilty. But can we dig a bit deeper into what actually happened? Caylee was last seen alive by her grandparents on June 16 of 2008. Casey took Caylee, and the two moved out of her parents’ house. Cindy persistently tried to reach Casey after they’d moved out, wanting to check on how Caylee was doing and express how eager she was to help if Casey needed anything. But Casey wouldn’t answer. Mid-July, Casey’s car had been impounded and smelled like rotten flesh — so Cindy cornered her daughter and demanded to see Caylee. Only then did Casey admit she’d been missing, and her mother called the police to report the missing child and accuse her daughter of killing Caylee.
11. She Had Her Mom’s Nose
We’d like to start off with one of those small features about Caylee that no one ever talked about after her death: what she looked like. Caylee was adorable. She had long brown hair like her mother’s, hair that grew wildly fast for a girl so young. She had big, wide eyes, the color of which did not match her mother’s but instead matched her chocolate-colored hair. And she had an adorable button nose that looked just like her mother’s. She was precious and so sweet, with a smile that was ever so slightly lopsided and forced when she was asked to smile for pictures. She loved to wear the color pink, or rather, was trained to love it by being dressed in pink so much by her mother and grandmother. Though press didn’t use very many photos showing the angelic child before her demise, this was a favorite that plastered our TVs during her mother’s trial.
10. She Only Ever Had Two Birthday Parties
Caylee died in late June or early July of 2008, though her remains would not be discovered for another few months. Having been born in August of 2005, she died just short of making it to age three. Anyone who has a child, or is even a close aunt or uncle to a child, or even has a friend who has a child, knows that the first birthday is a huge deal. It’s a celebration for kids and parents alike! Congratulations, you can survive some of the hardest trials of being a parent! Making it to the second birthday party is like an endurance challenge, as in “Congratulations, you’re able to fully function as a parent who never sleeps!” Making it to a third birthday would be a much more enjoyable experience — kids at that age can fully communicate and have ideas and opinions and are simply more fun to be around, and the birthday party becomes more about the kid in question than the struggling parents. Unfortunately, Caylee never made it.
9. Caylee Loved To Swim
Don’t go looking for Caylee in this picture because you won’t find her. The only pictures of Caylee in a swimming pool were located on the computer of Cindy Anthony, who was Casey’s mother and thus Caylee’s grandmother. Cindy and her husband George had an above ground pool in their backyard that Caylee loved to swim in. She would flap around in her little water wings and have the time of her life. Despite thorough digging, there aren’t a whole lot of pictures out there showing Caylee and her mom swimming together — only Caylee and her grandma. However, her adoration for swimming and water activities was probably the defense’s reasoning behind crafting a story that Caylee had accidentally drowned in the pool while Casey wasn’t looking, and Casey went on to hide the body for fear that she’d be charged with neglect. Still a horrible death story to come up with, but no one was buying it, and we doubt seriously that this little girl — who others say was repeatedly warned to not go near pools without supervision — drowned accidentally.
8. She Liked Winnie the Pooh
Is this important? We sure think so. Why? Because Caylee Anthony wasn’t some obscure, vague concept of a distressing crime. She wasn’t a piece of evidence, like an air quality sample or a trash bag in the woods. She was a human being. She had grown to almost three years of age and had likes and dislikes, opinions, answers to confusing questions, and preferences. One of her preferences was for Winnie the Pooh, an animated series about a little boy who ventured into his imagination with a cuddly yellow bear for adventures in friendship. Caylee wasn’t just a crime committed on paper; she was a human being with a full life that was cut short. And it wasn’t just some bother that she didn’t get to live her life; it was a downright tragedy and horror. Worst of all, whoever killed Caylee had the horrifying idea to throw her body and her favorite blankie (a Winnie the Pooh blanket) into a trash bag and dump it in the woods.
7. She Loved to Dance!
Caylee was such a sweet and adorable little girl who, in her heyday, was full of life and vibrancy. She had a passion for exploration! She loved to play outside, whether it was in her grandparents’ pool in Orlando or in the sandbox at the park. And most of all, she loved to dance. Whether she was bobbing around her grandparents’ house, following after her Grandpa George as he made dinner or jamming out in the car seat to whatever her mom flipped on the radio, Caylee loved to dance. She was a happy child that was constantly unafraid to make each and every day brighter. Why anyone anywhere would ever want to harm such a sweet, innocent, and pure soul is beyond us. Her Grandpa George was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to visualize [Caylee’s death]… because the only thing I can visualize about Caylee is that beautiful girl that I saw dance around every day, who’d come down the hallway and just make my life beautiful.”
6. We Have No Idea Who Her Dad Is
Not only do we, third party bystanders who have only a passing interest in Casey Anthony’s life, have no clue about the parentage of Casey’s daughter — Casey has no idea who the father of her child is. Like, NO idea. Casey was so busy that she just has no clue who the dad could be. When she got pregnant, she didn’t tell her parents. They figured it out a few months in, and she still vehemently denied it, claiming she was a virgin. Well, her bluff was called a few months later when a baby came out. She thought the father may have been Jesse Grund, her fiance while pregnant, but a paternity test proved he wasn’t the father. Other people were also tested to see if they were the father, including Lee Anthony (Casey’s brother), George Anthony (Casey’s father), and a deceased coworker named Josh. Sources have theorized about multiple other fathers as well, but it looks like finding the right papa is a lost cause.
5. She Probably Had No Nanny
When Casey and Caylee moved out of Cindy and George’s house, Casey still didn’t have the money to afford a place to live on their own. Think about it — Casey hadn’t had a job in months after being fired from her job at Universal Studios and had just been hanging out with her fiance and his roommates when saying she was at work. How would she have gotten money? So she started staying at Jesse’s place regularly, but that’s when his roommates say they stopped seeing Caylee. They even reported never hearing Casey talking to Caylee or a babysitter/nanny on the phone. Casey told them all that Caylee was with a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, also affectionately named ‘Zanny.’ When police interrogated the only woman in the surrounding area under that name, she professed to have never heard of Casey or Caylee — and even went on to sue Casey Anthony for defamation. So Caylee probably never had a nanny at all — her days shortly after leaving her grandparents’ home were likely her final ones.
4. Caylee Almost Escaped Her Mom Before She Was Even Born
One of Casey Anthony’s friends was brought on the stand and claimed that Casey confided in her that she believed she had gotten pregnant after a one-night-stand with a coworker named Josh. She also told sources that Casey had the brief idea of giving the baby up for adoption. While it seems that the concept of abortion or stringent birth control was never on Casey’s mind, she thought long and hard about potentially giving up her unborn child for adoption. While some may fret and say that would be a shame to give a baby up, it really wouldn’t have been; newborn babies in the United States are typically adopted before they even escape the womb, and usually by the best-qualified parents who passionately pour money into their adoption search. Caylee would’ve been fine and had a great life… but Cindy talked Casey out of it. Thus, Caylee was born and destined to her fate at the hands of her mother (or “whoever”).
3. We’re Unsure Exactly How She Died
For all that we know about Casey Anthony’s trial and what happened to Caylee Anthony, we still don’t know exactly how Caylee died. A lot of autopsies are cut-and-dry reports, easily claiming that the cause of death was strangulation or drowning or drug overdose. But Caylee’s case was not so clear. Caylee’s body was found in early December of 2008, about four months after Caylee was reported as missing. Though they were able to identify it was her through DNA tests, finding her means of death was not so simple. Duct tape around the nose and mouth (the mouthpiece had a sticker heart on it, like the man pictured above) indicated she may have been smothered; reports in court indicated she may have drowned; records of Casey’s computer reports indicate she may have drugged Caylee with chloroform. All that the doctor performing the autopsy could clearly indicate was that the means of death included homicide.
2. The Last Time She Was Seen Alive
We know for a fact that the last time that Caylee was seen alive by anyone other than her mother was when Casey was moving out of her parents’ house on June 16, 2008. But Casey wasn’t just moving out because she was acquiring independence or because she wanted to move in with her fiance. As a matter of fact, her fiance was reluctant to let her stay with him and his roommates long term. Casey was moving out following an argument with her mother, wherein Cindy said that Casey was not fit to be a mother. Casey was absolutely infuriated at her mother’s insinuations and stormed off, taking her things and her daughter with her. Unfortunately, no mother wants to be proven right when claiming that her daughter is unfit to take the position of a mom — but Cindy unfortunately was.
1. She Would Be 11 If She Were Still Alive
If Caylee Anthony were alive today, she’d be 11-and-a-half years old. If she were alive today, she would probably be starting sixth grade, going into a middle school for the first time in her life (a HUGE milestone for kids!) in just a few months. If she were alive today, she’d probably be addicted to watching Netflix, watching shows like Jesse and WordGirl. If she were alive today, she’d perhaps be getting her braces off. If she were alive today, she’d soon be encountering puberty and learning about the birds and the bees for the first time. If she were alive today, she would be a bright young girl on the verge of becoming a gorgeous young woman. But she isn’t alive today because that vivacious future was robbed from her. As the people that watched her mother’s trial and watched her mother go free when clearly, there was at least some minimal culpability there, we should all be vigilant for more cases like these in hopes that children get justice and get a chance to live their lives.