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Casey Anthony’s ex-fiance: ‘I don’t know her’ now

At one time, it was impossible to imagine that Casey Anthony could have done any harm to her daughter, Caylee. But one of the people who knew Anthony best said he no longer knows what she could have done.“I don’t know what this Casey is capable of. I think from her behavior, I don’t really know her at all the way she is,” Jesse Grund, Anthony’s former fiance, told TODAY’s Matt Lauer in
/ Source: TODAY contributor

At one time, it was impossible to imagine that Casey Anthony could have done any harm to her daughter, Caylee. But one of the people who knew Anthony best said he no longer knows what she could have done.

“I don’t know what this Casey is capable of. I think from her behavior, I don’t really know her at all the way she is,” Jesse Grund, Anthony’s former fiance, told TODAY’s Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview Monday in New York.

Early this month, a meter reader had discovered a plastic bag with a human head in it in a wild area off a road near the Orlando, Fla., home of Casey Anthony’s parents. Late last week, the remains were identified as those of Caylee Anthony, who was 2 years old when she disappeared last June.

Casey Anthony, who maintained that her daughter had been abducted by a baby sitter, is in jail and charged with the murder of Caylee.

‘She lit up your life’

“That’s hard to swallow,” Grund said of the charges against Anthony, a woman he once wanted to marry. “You think you have someone you’ll be a family with and spend the rest of your life with, and they end up a totally different person.”

Grund wiped away tears and choked up repeatedly as he talked about the devastation he felt following the discovery of Caylee’s skeletal remains. For five months, he was among the many people holding out hope that Caylee had been abducted and would be found alive and well.

“It was devastating,” he said of his reaction on learning that Caylee was, indeed, dead. “It’s hard for all of us involved, myself and my family included.”

He broke down again talking about the bright little girl Caylee had been. “She lit up your life, from the time she was a little baby, from the time she was a toddler,” he told Lauer. “She was full of life as a little baby. She bounced around in her chair, watching ‘Baby Einstein.’ We went to theme parks, and she loved the characters; she loved being around family.”

Change of focus

Grund and Anthony were engaged for a brief period at the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006.

“We were 19 when we met,” he said in October. “She was very energetic. She had a sarcastic sense of humor. She's very smart; she was very fun to be around. And she was just the type of person that everyone was attracted to.”

Grund, who has cooperated with authorities and is not charged in connection with Caylee’s death, said Anthony was a perfect mother at first, but then changed as Caylee got older.

Casey had been staying with her parents, George and Cindy Anthony, after Caylee disappeared and before Anthony was arrested and jailed. Scores of people from Orlando and around the country had kept a vigil outside the Anthonys’ home, demanding justice.

Since the discovery of Caylee’s remains, people from as far away as Canada have left piles of stuffed animals, toys, pictures and messages both in front of the Anthony home and near the area where Caylee’s body was found.

Public anger

Many people remain angry at both Casey, who has yet to stand trial, and her parents. Lauer asked Grund if he understands why people are so emotional about the case.