The events surrounding the death of Caylee Anthony have been debated by legal experts and the public since the 2011 trial of her mother, Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of charges including first-degree murder and manslaughter, according to ABC News. Oxygen will explore this story in "The Case of: Caylee Anthony," a three-night special event airing Saturday, May 19, Sunday, May 20 and Monday, May 21 at 8PM ET/PT.
What happened in the days preceding and following the discovery of Caylee's body had an impact on Casey's trial.
Caylee was reported missing on July 15, 2008, by her grandmother, Cindy Anthony, who placed a frantic call to 911, saying: “I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for a month.”
According to police records, Casey Anthony initially told investigators her daughter had vanished after she left her with a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, who had also vanished. According to The Orlando Sentinel, Casey’s attorney said Zenaida was “a fictional person” during her trial. Authorities never connected any person by that name with Caylee’s disappearance. While Casey was acquitted of murder, she was found guilty of misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement, according to ABC News.
Caylee had been missing for months before the 2-year-old child's body was found in a blanket inside of a trash bag in a wooded area, not far from the Anthony family home in Orlando, Florida. In August, 2008, a utility company meter reader named Roy Kronk called police to report what “looked like a human skull” at the location. According to People, Kronk testified that an officer “berated me for a half hour for wasting his time” after not seeing the skull. When Kronk returned in December of that same year, he says he inserted a stick in the right eye socket of the skull and “pivoted” it back and forth.
“I apologize for doing so,” Kronk testified, according to People. “I did not know what it was. I never lifted it off the ground. That was a very horrific thing for me to find, obviously.”
Kronk also claimed the police had initially been dismissive of his report. "I guess the deputy didn't want to go in the water to look at the bag. The cop was, I would say, he was kind of rude to me,” Kronk told Good Morning America.
Kronk added that he became the subject of criticism following the incident. "You try to do the right thing, you try to be the nice guy and you just get vilified,” he said. “I tried to help put a little closure to that poor child ... And she got a decent burial at the end of all this. That's what I tried to do."
On December 19, 2008, police confirmed the remains inside the bag were that of Caylee's, according to ABC News.
The body of Caylee Anthony was found approximately 19 feet from the road, according to NBC News.
[Photo: Caylee Anthony memorial by Joe Raedle / Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.