Casey Anthony detectives overlooked Google search
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Florida sheriff's office that investigated Caylee Anthony's death confirmed Sunday that it overlooked a computer search for suffocation methods made from the little girl's home on the day she was last seen alive.
Orange County sheriff's Capt. Angelo Nieves said the office's computer investigator missed a June 16, 2008, Google search for "fool-proof" suffocation methods. The agency's admission was first reported by Orlando television station WKMG. It's not known who performed the search. The station reported it was done on a browser primarily used by the 2-year-old's mother, Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of the girl's murder in 2011.
Anthony's attorneys argued during trial that Casey Anthony helped her father, George Anthony, cover up the girl's drowning in the family pool.
WKMG reports that sheriff's investigators pulled 17 vague entries only from the computer's Internet Explorer browser, not the Mozilla Firefox browser commonly used by Casey Anthony. More than 1,200 Firefox entries, including the suffocation search, were overlooked.
Whoever conducted the Google search looked for the term "fool-proof suffication," misspelling "suffocation," and then clicked on an article about suicide that discussed taking poison and putting a bag over one's head.
The browser then recorded activity on the social networking site MySpace, which was used by Casey Anthony but not her father.
A computer expert for Anthony's defense team found the search before the trial. Her lead attorney, Jose Baez, first mentioned the search in his book about the case but suggested it was George Anthony who conducted the search after Caylee drowned because he wanted to kill himself.
Not knowing about the computer search, prosecutors had argued Caylee was poisoned with chloroform and then suffocated by duct tape placed over her mouth and nose. The girl's body was found six months after she disappeared in a field near the family home and was too decomposed for an exact cause of death to be determined.
Many jurors apparently went into hiding amid public outrage over the verdict and refused to comment, but two have said prosecutors couldn't conclusively prove how Caylee died.
Prosecutors Linda Drane Burdick and Jeff Ashton didn't respond to emails from The Associated Press on Sunday.
But Ashton told WKMG that "it's just a shame we didn't have it. This certainly would have put the accidental death claim in serious question."
Baez didn't respond to phone or email messages Sunday from The Associated Press but told WKMG that he expected prosecutors to bring up the search at trial.
"When they didn't, we were kind of shocked," Baez, who no longer represents Anthony, told the station. Her attorney, Cheney Mason, who was also on the trial team, didn't return an email message from AP Sunday, and his office answering service refused to take a phone message.
The sheriff's office didn't consult the FBI or Florida Department of Law Enforcement for help searching the computer in the Anthony case, a mistake investigators have learned from, Nieves said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Offense awakens to lead Steelers past Panthers
- Steelers notebook: Rooney says owners support Goodell
- Game changers: Turnover leads to elusive TD for Steelers
- Rossi: State of NFL gives Steelers a chance
- Boulevard of the Allies lane closure begins
- Penguins forward Megna’s skill set might be perfect fit
- Pirates, Worley edge Brewers, 1-0, move to cusp of playoffs
- Inside the glass: Penguins’ Martin, Ehrhoff look comfortable together
- Pirates notebook: Bucs set single-season attendance record
- Penguins notebook: Carcillo hopes to give team physical edge
- Researchers study ways to protect power grid from solar storms