In night two of Oxygen’s documentary special “The Case of: Caylee Anthony,” former FBI supervisory special agent Jim Clemente and former New Scotland Yard criminal behavioral analyst Laura Richards developed several shocking theories. One particularly disturbing contention came about while Clemente and Richards were examining the skeletal remains of Casey Anthony’s 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
A forensics expert testified during the 2011 trial that duct tape was found on Caylee’s decomposed skull, according to ABC News. The prosecution argued Casey had suffocated Caylee by placing duct tape over her nose and mouth, CNN reported. A forensic pathologist, however, testified for the defense that the duct tape was placed on the skull after Caylee's body had decomposed.
Ultimately, Casey Anthony was acquitted on charges of both first-degree murder and manslaughter. To explore the prosecution’s theory, Clemente had a life-size replica of Caylee’s skull made so he and Richards could place the duct tape over it.
“From the FBI report of examination from the laboratory, [there were] three pieces of duct tape. One was 9 ½ inches, one was 9 inches and one was 7 ½ inches,” said Clemente.
As Richards wrapped around the replica skull, they realized the pieces of tape would completely “cover the whole face,” including the jaw and eyes. While Clemente observed the tape could have effectively been used to suffocate Caylee, Richards wondered why a potential murderer would have even used duct tape in the first place. Clemente agreed.
“It’s not determinative, but it is a possibility. To me, instead of doing all this, anybody could actually reach across and just smother a child like this,” he said, covering the replica skull with his hand.
“To go to all the trouble to tear off three pieces of duct tape to do that job, it doesn't seem reasonable under the circumstances,” explained Clemente. “At the behavioral analysis unit, we’ve studied cases like this where offenders will cover the face of their victim so they don’t have to look at the victim.”
“[There is] the remorse and the shame and the guilt, depersonalizing her, taking the human element out and creating that distance,” said Richards.
Though the prosecution contended there was no other explanation for the duct tape, Clemente concluded there wasn’t a way to forensically prove those pieces of tape were placed on Caylee’s skull before or after her death.
To learn more about the investigation and the team’s findings, watch night three of “The Case of: Caylee Anthony” on May 21 at 8/7c.