The Orlando, Fla., toddler who has been missing since early June has been sighted as recently as Tuesday night in Georgia, her grandmother said Thursday.
"Based on two more tips yesterday, two more sightings of Caylee in Georgia as late as two nights ago, makes me very hopeful," Cindy Anthony, Caylee Anthony’s grandmother, told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira from Orlando. "It looks like they’re moving more northern into Georgia, toward the mountains."
Cindy Anthony’s daughter, 22-year-old Casey Anthony, is being held in jail on charges of child endangerment, lying to authorities and criminal obstruction. A judge set bail for her at $500,000, a sum her parents have not been able to raise. She continues to maintain that a baby sitter abducted her daughter Caylee in early June, but she told no one the child was missing for five weeks.
The grandmother said that the girl, who is almost 3, was spotted in the Orlando airport three weeks ago boarding a flight bound for Atlanta with an older woman. The person who called with the tip said she talked to the girl, who said her name was Caylee Anthony and she was 3 years old.
"I want people to look at her picture and picture her as having blond hair right now," Cindy Anthony said of her granddaughter, who is shown in pictures with brown hair.
The woman said that the people who said they spotted Caylee called police and then contacted her. Investigators have said that the tips lacked crucial details.
Abduction or homicide?The family’s attorney, Jose Baez, who appeared on TODAY with Cindy Anthony, said that police are not doing enough to find the child.
"We want to be respectful to law enforcement, but that only goes so far. We want to see results and we want to see them actually doing a search and not a prosecution. That’s what we’ve been saying all along," Baez told Vieira.
He said that the woman who said she spoke to Caylee at the airport helped police make a sketch of the woman who was with the child. But, he said, authorities have not shown him the sketch. "I don’t know what they’re doing with it," Baez said.
Police have said they’re treating the disappearance as a homicide. In a court hearing earlier this week, investigators said they found Casey Anthony’s car abandoned in a parking lot in late June. The interior of the vehicle had a strong smell of decomposition, and a dog trained to find cadavers indicated the smell was from human remains. Investigators said they found a stain in the trunk and hair that may have come from Caylee.
Casey Anthony said that she left the car in the parking lot when it ran out of gas. She and her mother said the bad smell was from a piece of pizza that had been left in the trunk and rotted.
Investigators say that Casey Anthony has repeatedly lied to them, about everything from the whereabouts of the child’s father to her employment history. She gave them an address for the baby sitter who is alleged to have taken the child, but it turned out to be an apartment that hadn’t been occupied for months. Casey Anthony said the baby sitter’s name is Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, but investigators have not been able to locate anyone by that name who meets the description the mother provided.
Cindy Anthony expressed confidence that Caylee is alive.
"We’re just frustrated," she told Vieira. "All we want is Caylee back to us. If people keep looking for Caylee, we’re going to find her, I know that."
A reward for information leading to the recovery of Caylee has been increased to $225,000.