In an apparent effort to ratchet up the heat on Casey Anthony, the mother of missing Orlando, Fla., toddler Caylee Anthony, police have released interview tapes that, they say, show that Anthony repeatedly lied to them.
“Everything you've told us is a lie! Every single thing!” an investigator shouts at Anthony during questioning that took place on July 16, a month after the 22-year-old single mother first revealed Caylee, who would now be 3 years old, was missing. Police had been alerted to the disappearance by Anthony’s mother, Cindy Anthony.
“If the main thing you want to do is find your daughter, and you don’t think lying to us is gonna help find her, why would you do that?” an investigator asks on the tapes.
“Because I'm scared, and I know I’m running out of options. It’s been a month,” Anthony replies. Later, she again talks about her fear: “I’m scared, that I don't know where my daughter is.”
“This is the story you want to stick with?” her interrogator asks.
“It's the truth,” Anthony insists. “It's the story I will stick with. Yes.” On the tapes, she continues to maintain she’s telling the truth even after police point to facts that show her statements as falsehoods.
Turning up the heat
“The practical reality is they are turning up the heat on her,” NBC News chief legal correspondent Dan Abrams told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira Tuesday after listening to excerpts from the tapes. “They are looking for everything and anything to say to her: ‘You’d better work with us, because we think that we’ve got a lot of evidence against you.’ ”
Anthony, who is free on $500,000 bail and living with her parents, has maintained that a baby sitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez took Caylee, although police have been unable to find anyone meeting such a person’s description. The apartment at which Anthony said she dropped Caylee off proved to be an unoccupied unit. They also determined that Anthony no longer worked at the company she gave as her place of employment.
Police initially arrested Anthony. After she was released on bail, they charged her with numerous counts of stealing checks from friends and using them to make purchases. Groups of demonstrators have taken to gathering outside her parents’ home, yelling at family members as they leave and enter the property, prompting appeals to the courts by neighbors who say their peace and quiet have been shattered.
Abrams said that the tapes can be considered public records, but added that it is unusual to release such evidence while an investigation is ongoing. He said it is also evident that investigators don’t have enough evidence to charge Anthony in connection with the disappearance of her daughter.
Investigators say that they are looking at all possibilities, but the reality, Abrams continued, is that Anthony is probably the sole suspect.
“It’s clear she’s not telling the truth. That’s important. The question is why? Why wouldn’t she tell the truth?” he said. “Why wouldn’t she offer the authorities any help in finding her daughter?”
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.
Meanwhile, Anthony’s parents have repeatedly said they’re continuing to track down leads to find their granddaughter, whom they insist was kidnapped.