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Missing girl's mother held

She is rearrested, over bad checks, not her daughter's case, say officials. People jeer as she is led away.

August 30, 2008|Sarah Lundy and Amy L. Edwards | South Florida Sentinel

ORLANDO, FLA. — Investigators took Casey Anthony -- the mother of missing 3-year-old Caylee Anthony -- back into custody Friday night as people outside her home jeered, calling her a murderer and a baby killer.

Orange County sheriff's officials say the latest arrest stems from $746.87 in checks that a friend accused her of stealing in July, not the disappearance of her daughter, who hadn't been seen in a month before Anthony reported her missing. The charges apparently are related to one check written to Target for $111.01.

Anthony, 22, showed little emotion as she walked out of her parents' Orange County home with her wrists handcuffed behind her back.

Wearing a T-shirt with Caylee's picture on the front and a caption that read, "Have you seen me?" Anthony was placed in the front seat of an unmarked patrol car.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, September 04, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 43 words Type of Material: Correction
Missing Florida girl: An article in Saturday's Section A about Caylee Anthony, a 3-year-old who has been missing since mid-June, said it was from the South Florida Sentinel. The article, reported by Sarah Lundy and Amy L. Edwards, was from the Orlando Sentinel.

Her attorney, Jose Baez, said law enforcement officials were more interested in making his client look bad than in finding her daughter.

Speaking outside the Anthony house late Friday night, Baez said sheriff's detectives "decided to make a spectacle of this event."

"They chose this moment to grandstand and to utilize their power to go ahead and make an arrest on something that they knew two months ago," he said.

Cindy Anthony, the child's grandmother, stood by his side.

Baez pointed out that homicide, not economic-crimes detectives, arrested Anthony.

The attorney said he was aware that Anthony could be arrested Friday night. He said he told detectives via fax that he would surrender her but that they didn't wait.

"When they knew a lot of people were going to be here, a lot of cameras were going to be here, and they decide to put on a little show on minor economic crimes," he said. "They're more interested in making her look bad . . . instead of finding Caylee."

Many in the crowd clapped at seeing Anthony taken away around 8:30 p.m.

"I'm happy that they finally took her," said Theresa Rider, 71, of Orlando, who said she went to the house because she wanted to express her opinion to the Anthony family.

Like Rider, many in the crowd showed up at the Anthony home out of frustration that Casey Anthony was free. She was released last week after a bounty hunter from California helped post her $500,200 bail.

Several came with signs that read, "Rot in Jail," and "Who is the bigger liar? Cindy Anthony or Killer Casey? May God have mercy on you."

Earlier in the evening, Cindy Anthony came outside to talk to a woman who was chanting, "Casey Anthony is a murderer!" She invited the woman, who identified herself as Kittie Gonzalez, to come inside to talk, but Gonzalez refused.

Gonzalez asked Cindy Anthony if she had asked her daughter where Caylee is.

"Yes, and she doesn't know," Cindy Anthony replied.

The allegations of stealing checks were first mentioned when Anthony was arrested July 16 on charges of child neglect and filing a false statement to authorities.

Her friend, Amy Huizenga, 24, filed the complaint with Orlando police after she found checks missing from her car, which she had lent to Anthony.

Detectives say Anthony stole checks and cashed five of them -- three for purchases at Target, one for groceries and one for $250 in cash.

She was being held Friday night on charges of uttering a forged instrument, fraudulent use of personal information and petty theft. Bail was set at $3,000.

Orange County Sheriff's Capt. Angelo Nieves said there was no significance to the timing of the fraud charges. Detectives simply finished investigating the case, he said.

The toddler was last seen in mid-June and was reported missing to authorities July 15. This week, air-sample tests from Casey Anthony's car showed that the trunk once held a decomposing human body. DNA samples were taken and sent to FBI forensic labs. The results have not been made public.

Nieves would not say Friday night whether the evidence in the trunk had been linked to Caylee.

This capped a day that started out with Casey Anthony receiving good news. A bounty hunter who had helped secure her release decided he would not withdraw her bond, a move he had been considering the day before.

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