Casey Anthony's brother recalled on Wednesday a conversation nearly three years ago when she admitted for the first time to him that her 2-year-old daughter Caylee was missing.
"She told me that she had not seen Caylee for 31 days, that she had been kidnapped and that the nanny took her," testified Lee Anthony, 28.Just before that admission, Lee said, he kept asking 25-year-old Casey why she wouldn't allow their distraught mother to see her only grandchild.Prosecutors say she killed Caylee on June 16, 2008 to free herself from the burden of raising a child. Defense lawyers contend Caylee drowned that day in a tragic accident in the Anthonys' backyard pool, but no one reported her death.Lee Anthony recalled both Casey and their mother Cindy Anthony being in "very combative" moods on the evening of July 15, 2008, when he was summoned to the family home by Cindy.That day, Cindy and her husband George Anthony had found Casey's car at an impound lot suffused with an odor they likened to human decomposition, according to their testimony.Lee said he also noted a "very potent, very strong" smell permeating the garage where his parents parked Casey's car to air out.At that point, it had been a month since any of the Anthonys had seen Caylee, even though she and Casey lived in the family home until the toddler's disappearance.
Lee said he talked to Casey alone, trying to persuade her to tell him where Caylee was and let him bring her home. Lee said Casey insisted Caylee was already asleep at a nanny's house and she didn't want the child's sleeping routine disrupted.Lee said Casey complained about Cindy's treatment of her. Casey said "that my mother numerous times had thrown in her face that she was an unfit mother for Caylee and that Casey says 'maybe I am,'" Lee testified.
During their conversation, Cindy called 911 trying to get a deputy to come to the house, Lee testified. He said Casey finally told him Caylee had been kidnapped and named the nanny after he told her police would make her take them to Caylee.Lee said Casey also told him that she had just received a telephone call that day from Caylee. Lee said Casey claimed she heard only Caylee's voice on the phone and that she asked Caylee to put an adult on the line.The officer who first arrived at the Anthony home testified that Casey initially provided little information. Corporal Raymond Fletcher said Casey agreed to take them to the nanny's apartment.But when they got there, the apartment appeared to be vacant and no one answered the door, Fletcher testified.The defense has attempted during the trial to focus attention on George Anthony. Defense attorney Dorothy Clay Sims got Lee to acknowledge that George kept a spare set of keys to Casey's car, and that George was the one who regularly cleaned and detailed the family vehicles.On the seventh day of what is expected to be an eight-week trial, spectators continued to gather near the courthouse hours before dawn.No one is allowed to set foot on the courthouse property until 5:30 a.m. At that moment, spectators say, people run across the road onto the courthouse plaza to line up for the approximately 50 public seats available in Courtroom 23.Bailiffs have had to admonish tired spectators to stay awake in their seats or risk being ejected from the courtroom.