Remains Of Young Child Found Near Anthony Home

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- The remains of a young child were located in east Orange County Thursday morning, less than a half-mile from Casey Anthony's parents' home, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

An Orange County water meter reader, who had gone to relieve himself, discovered a bag in the area of Chickasaw Trail and Suburban Drive, around three-tenths of a mile from the Anthonys' home.

According to information obtained by Eyewitness News, when the meter reader picked up the bag a skull fell out. The Orange County Sheriff's Office has confirmed to Eyewitness News that the body is a young child.

"We are assuming they are the remains of a victim," said Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Solomons.

It is not clear at this point whether the body was that of Caylee Anthony.

"We know we have a recent discovery. We have investigators on the scene. We need to determine what we have," said Solomons.

Reports from the scene say deputies have set up a perimeter near a small retention pond. Eyewitness News report Kathi Belich said sources told her they were taking this very seriously and would expedite DNA test to determine if the remains were indeed Caylee's. Investigators told her they were "very optimistic" they had found the missing girl.

Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, has been charged with murder in connection with the case. She is currently in the Orange County jail.


Dr. Michael Baden, a forensics expert, said DNA tests would likely confirm what other evidence at the scene would tell investigators. For example, detectives say there was duct tape on the bag and skull that were found. Baden said detectives would be able to match that tape and bag to other tape and bags they had previously gathered from the trunk of Casey Anthony's car.

"They can tell the age and height of the child. They'll have a good sense of if it's Caylee. The DNA will just confirm the evidence," said Baden.

Tim Miller, founder of the Texas-based search group Equusearch, said he had been called by law enforcement officials and told they believed they had found Caylee Anthony.

"The words were, 'Tim, it looks like we got her,'" said Miller. "I'm surprised. It was one of them cases I thought would have never been found… I thought the best thing that would ever happen is that one day we could go to a funeral and say good-bye to this little girl… and it looks like that will happen."

"I'm just overcome with emotion and grief right now," said bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, who has been a major part of search efforts to find Caylee's body.


During Thursday morning's pre-trial hearing in the case against Casey Anthony, the judge postponed the trial until sometime in March per attorney Jose Baez's request.

The judge set another pre-trial status hearing for January 15 at 9:00am, but did not specify when in March the trial would start.

Baez also told the judge he planned to file a change of venue.

"The forensics that are going to be performed are going to answer a lot of questions (in terms of prosecutors asking for the death penalty)," said Eyewitness News legal analyst Bill Schaeffer. "This is obviously a major setback to the defense."

Casey Anthony did not attend Thursday's hearing.


Cindy and George Anthony appeared on CNN's Larry King Live Wednesday night, but offered very little new information.

"It's come up for nothing. There is nothing they have found that has given them any evidence that Caylee is no longer with us," said Cindy.
The Anthonys said they are trying to keep the search for their granddaughter Caylee as the main focus. However, the couple defended their daughter Casey in front of a national audience. Despite Casey being charged with murdering her own daughter, Cindy didn't have a problem defending her.

"Casey has done nothing to her daughter. There is no evidence that shows that," Cindy said. "I can with 100 percent of my being say that I believe that Casey had nothing to do with Caylee's disappearance."

George Anthony originally told the FBI that he recognized the unmistakable smell of a decomposing body, but his story has changed.

"Inside that bag was garbage. There really was pizza, I seen it and I know what was in there," George said to Larry King.

The Anthonys say they are focusing on the alleged Caylee sightings and claim the most recent was Wednesday in Tennessee inside of a grocery store.

"My investigator has already spoken with the Tennessee authorities and the tipster and we are just waiting to see if there is any video in the store," Cindy said.

George and Cindy also spoke out against law enforcement.

"I wanted them to put out an Amber Alert for my granddaughter, which they never did. They never contacted the FBI and I wanted them to," George said.