Investigator: Caylee's remains found near road
Saturday, June 11, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Caylee Anthony's skull and most of the rest of her remains were 19 feet from the road when they were found, a crime scene investigator testified Saturday.
Stretching a tape measure across the courtroom, defense attorney Jose Baez demonstrated the remains were virtually steps from the road, nearly the same distance as the jury from the defense table. The testimony that the scene was easily accessible from the road could be significant because defense attorneys claim the meter reader who found the remains tampered with them.
The defense has said that the 2-year-old girl accidentally drowned in her grandparents' swimming pool.
More than 50 investigators recovered more than 390 pieces of evidence during 10 days at the wooded scene where Caylee's remains were found in the same residential neighborhood as the Anthony family home, said Jennifer Welch of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Among the items recovered were pieces of trash and black trash bags.
The area was thick with vegetation, and investigators used a county-issued machete to clear some of the area so they could do their work, Welch said. Wearing blue gloves, she held up for the jury pieces of evidence recovered from the scene, including a piece of duct tape and pink lettering. The lettering was dirty and weathered and appeared to spell the word "package."
Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Anthony has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have identified duct tape as Anthony's murder weapon. They contend she killed the toddler by covering her mouth and nose with it.
Anthony looked away from pictures of the scene where Caylee's remains were found. Earlier in the week, the judge ended the court session early when Anthony grew ill during gruesome forensics testimony in which pictures of Caylee's skull and other remains were shown.
During earlier testimony on Saturday, Neal Haskell, an expert in forensic etymology, said Caylee's remains were in the trunk of Anthony's car for a few days before they were moved to the wooded area where they eventually were found. Evidence of insect activity at both locations supports the theory, he said.
Haskell testified that insects related to decomposition were in the trunk of Anthony's vehicle. He said that flies investigators discovered were associated with some paper towels sent to a national laboratory and found to contain decomposition fluid.
Caylee was missing for seven months before her remains were found. Previous witnesses have testified about evidence of decomposition in the trunk of Anthony's car, a white Pontiac Sunfire.
"I have no question that body's been out there for many, many months," Haskell said of the scene where Caylee's remains were found.
Testimony resumes Monday.
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