The tragic death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, whose skeletal remains were found in a trash bag near her Orlando home in 2008, horrified the nation. And the quest for justice in the case made Casey Anthony — who to this day claims she doesn’t know what happened to her own child — one of the most reviled mothers in history, despite being acquitted of murder. Although she was acquitted of murder, Casey’s father, George Anthony, breaks his silence, contending that his daughter dosed Caylee with drugs and is to blame for her demise.
“I believe [Casey] gave her something and Caylee wouldn’t wake up,” reveals George, a retired police officer — and he suspects the “something” was the anti-anxiety medication Xanax. “Caylee was always a very healthy child, but at times she would sleep for 12, 13 hours at a time,” says George. “A 2½ -year-old would not do that unless something was going on.” He adds that Casey’s friends had a “steady supply” of powerful pharmaceuticals.
During the investigation, Casey originally told authorities that Caylee had been abducted by a babysitter she called “Zanny” — a common street name for Xanax.
Family friend Clint House backs up George’s contention that Casey was feeding her daughter dangerous drugs. “As soon as I heard ‘Zanny the nanny,’ that’s what popped in my mind: She was using Xanax to babysit her child,” he says. However, Casey’s mom, Cindy Anthony, maintains that Caylee drowned in the family pool when Casey became “distracted” and left the toddler unattended. “Casey panicked, but as far as being responsible, I feel it was an accident,” Cindy believes. But husband George calls that “a bunch of bull,” insisting, “If that happened I think my daughter would have had the decency or at least the common sense to call 911.”
Caylee, who lived with her mother and grandparents in Orlando, was reported missing by Cindy in July of 2008. After the child’s body was discovered with duct tape on her head, Casey was arrested and charged with murder. Americans were riveted by her televised trial, which officially began in May 2011, during which prosecutors portrayed Casey as an unfit mother who used chloroform to subdue her daughter, and then taped her nose and mouth to suffocate her.
Defense counsel countered that Caylee drowned accidentally in the pool — and then made a number of shocking claims about George, including accusing him of disposing of the body, and that he had also sexually abused Casey as a child, which led to her lying to police due to the psychological effects of her traumatic upbringing. George has denied all those claims.
Casey, now 31, was eventually convicted on four counts of lying to investigators — and last month, she spoke out and audaciously claimed she’s been the victim in the whole tragic affair. Yet she’s now reportedly trying to land her own reality TV series to profit off her ill-found celebrity. Should she succeed, one person who surely won’t be calling to congratulate her is her father. “We’re done,” George insists. “When that stuff happened, I lost my daughter and my granddaughter. Justice for me would be to have my daughter behind bars and have her suffer the way Caylee suffered.”