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Who Is Caylee Anthony's Father? 6 Men Who Made Headlines During The Murder Trial
The murder trial brought up as many questions as it answered. Explore the infamous courtroom battle in Oxygen's "The Case of: Caylee Anthony," premiering May 19 at 8 PM ET/PT.
It’s been nearly 10 years since 2-year-old Caylee Anthony was found dead in the woods near her home in Orlando, Florida. When a nationwide search for the toddler ended in the discovery of her remains, Caylee’s mother, Casey Anthony, quickly became one of the main suspects in the murder investigation.
Oxygen will explore the tragedy in "The Case of: Caylee Anthony," a three-night special event airing Saturday, May 19, Sunday, May 20 and Monday, May 21 at 8:00 ET/PT.
Ultimately, Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder, manslaughter and child abuse in connection with Caylee’s death. The highly publicized trial, however, ended up raising just as many questions as it answered. One of the major mysteries was the identity of Caylee’s father.
Various men were singled out during the six-week murder trial, but their paternity was either never confirmed or ruled out. While her father’s identity remains unknown to the public to this day, these are six men who made headlines during the Caylee Anthony investigation and trial.
1. Jesus Ortiz
In 2008, Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, told People that Caylee’s father “was in a terrible car accident” and that he “is deceased.” One person who seemed to fit this description was 21-year-old Jesus Ortiz, who had briefly dated Casey before his death in 2007, according to People.
The Ortiz family was stunned when they heard the speculation that Jesus was possibly Caylee’s father. According to them, Casey hadn’t reached out to the Ortiz family or even spoken about Jesus publicly until Caylee went missing.
“Miss Anthony never told the family Jesus was the father or that he might be the father,” the family said in a statement. “In fact, the family has never met her and does not know her.”
2. Eric Baker
During Casey’s murder trial, Cindy testified that Casey told her Caylee’s father was an “old friend” named Eric Baker, who had also died in a car crash. Cindy also told the court that she had never met a man by the name of Eric Baker, and that her daughter had claimed she and Eric had just “gotten together” for “one night.”
According to CNN, investigators were able to pull up a death certificate for an Eric Baker who died in a car crash, but they could not verify that he had any connection to Casey.
3. Michael Duggan
In 2011, Donna MacLean came forward during Casey Anthony’s murder trial to claim that her son, Michael Duggan, was Caylee’s father. In an interview with The Daily Beast, she said Michael disclosed he had a daughter and that her grandparents were “George and Cindy Anthony” shortly before his death in 2007. Michael also tragically died in a car crash.
Even though, at the time, no one in the Anthony family responded to her allegations, Donna told The Daily Beast, “I would never in a million years bring something like this forward if I wasn’t 100 percent positive. My son wouldn’t lie to me.”
4. Jesse Grund
According to People, Casey started dating ex-fiancé Jesse Grund shortly after she became pregnant with Caylee. Even though the timing of her conception didn’t line up with their relationship, he was happy to be a father figure to Caylee, telling People that he “loved her more than anything” and saying she was “an amazing little baby.”
5. Co-worker named Josh
Melina Calabrese, Casey’s former friend, told detectives that Casey revealed Caylee’s father was a one-night stand named Josh. Casey didn’t disclose his last name, but according to a police report she told Melina that he was from Georgia and that they had worked together at Universal Studios. According to Melina, Casey claimed Josh had passed away in a car accident not long after Caylee's second birthday.
It was later discovered by police that Casey had lied to detectives about working at Universal Studios, reported ABC News.
6. George or Lee Anthony
During the murder trial, Casey’s defense team alleged that Casey’s father, George Anthony, had sexually abused her and that Casey’s brother, Lee Anthony, had made sexual advances toward her, according to ABC News.
Both George and Lee had paternity tests done by the FBI. Heather Seubert, a DNA analyst at the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, told the court that they had been tested and confirmed neither of them was the father. In a later interview, Cindy and George Anthony denied the allegations and said they were hurt by the "hints, rumors, lies and allegations" made by Casey.
[Photo: Getty Images]