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Jane Velez-Mitchell

More Details Emerge in Caylee Anthony Investigation

Aired December 16, 2008 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, more shockers in the Caylee Anthony case. As both sides battle furiously in court in an emergency hearing, new questions emerge. Did mom Casey Anthony have a panic attack when she learned a skull had been found near her parents` home?

Also tonight, new theories about why cops took vacuum cleaners and a pesticide cans from the Anthony home. You won`t believe this possible explanation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll continue to sift through the wooded area and uncovering significant finds.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are those significant finds? We`ll analyze it as America waits to hear the official I.D., and we`ll take your calls on the Caylee case.

Plus it was a case that got as much attention as Caylee`s 27 years ago. It sparked a crime-fighting movement and "America`s Most Wanted," the abduction and murder of 6-year-old Adam Walsh, the son of a man who became a legendary crime fighter, John Walsh. We`ll tell you about today`s stunning new developments in this famous case.

These issues and more tonight.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another day, another stunning revelation in the Caylee Anthony case. The latest shocker came at an emergency hearing today that turned into a real battle between authorities and defense attorneys. A lawyer for the Orange County sheriff`s department dropped this bombshell.


ANN MARIE DELAHUNTY, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: What we will not do is we will not release photographs of the skull of this little girl to then be broadcast all over the news before the body has even been identified, before the parents had been notified.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is the first time an official connected to the sheriff`s department has identified the sex of the body. However, after the hearing, authorities backpedaled and said they are not confirming the gender of the child. Was this a slip of the tongue?

Authorities say they believe the remains are Caylee`s, but officials insist there has been no -- no -- no positive identification yet. The jailed mother`s attorney, Jose Baez, also in court today, making demands and arguing with prosecutors.


JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: If you don`t allow the defense to have its independent ability -- have an independent ability to review the evidence, we`re in a sense running the risk of denying our client a fair trial.

We are in a situation where it has no longer become a crime scene. It`s become more of an excavation site.

DELAHUNTY: Not an excavation site. It`s an active crime scene. I don`t know what Mr. Baez is thinking that`s not being preserved, but we are -- we are doing the job that we are supposed to do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Testy, testy. The judge shot down the defense request for photos, drawings and videos from the crime scene and then denied a request for a second autopsy. He added this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want you to have the obligation to get out there and do whatever they need to do, disrupt whatever they need to disrupt. So I`m going to deny these motions.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime investigators continue to comb the crime scene as forensic experts examine significant finds. That`s a quote made yesterday. Sources close to the investigation have new theories based on that new evidence, including this: that Casey Anthony, the mom, actually wanted the body of her daughter found sooner so that she could start blaming somebody else.

I want to hear your thoughts. Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586- 7297 with your questions or comments.

Tonight we have our reporter, Kathi Belich, with CNN affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Florida. There she is. And my expert panel: Brian Russell, forensic pathologist. Jayne Weintraub is a criminal attorney. Ashleigh Banfield is the anchor of "In Session." And Bill Manion is a doctor and pathologist and assistant medical examiner for Burlington County in New Jersey.

Kathi, what is the very latest that you`re hearing?

KATHI BELICH, REPORTER, WFTV: Well, we`re hearing that investigators could be done with the scene, finding evidence at the crime scene, where the remains were found, the child`s remains were found by Thursday. And at that point, we`re not sure whether that scene is going to be turned over to the defense.

Today the judge refused to order investigators to allow the defense to participate in the criminal investigation going on and also denied their request that they could preserve evidence so they that could do their own testing at this point. So 0 for 2 today for the defense.

The defense also wants to do its own autopsy at a the medical examiner`s office. The judge reserved ruling in that situation until the remains are identified. But the medical examiner`s office said today that if, in fact, those remains belong to Caylee, the medical examiner does not want the defense at the facility of the medical examiner, and those remains would be turned over to next of kin.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashleigh Banfield, at first it seemed like a big defeat for the defense, but then, with the authorities having to backpedal on that whole gender issue, where they may have revealed, or they certainly did reveal in court, but then they said, "Nope, never mind. We`re not revealing the gender."

What do you make of it? Because there is a theory here that a lot of time has passed and that they may well know the identity of this child but are holding back on the positive identification, because as soon as they make that positive identification, Ashleigh, they`re going to have to cooperate more with the defense.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST, "IN SESSION": You know, that`s a possibility. I would highly doubt, though, with the microscopic attention that`s being given to this case that anyone is trying to pull any fast ones. At this point, I think it`s entirely plausible that the attorney for the sheriff`s department simply misspoke in court.

Look, there`s been so much coverage. She`s privy to it, too. Everyone`s talking about Caylee, Caylee, Caylee. So it`s easy for her to have misspoken in court.

I also don`t think that they would have backtracked and deliberately put out a lie in tonight`s press conference to suggest that`s not what we`ve done at all. It may very well have been as simple as that, just a misspoken moment for an attorney in court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Bill Manion, and you`re a pathologist, what is taking so long? My understanding is that there are two kinds of DNA, the mitochondrial and the nuclear, and there are a couple of kinds of tests. And one very specific test takes a little longer, but there`s another one that takes less time, just a couple of days. Correct me if I`m wrong.

DR. BILL MANION, PATHOLOGIST: Well, in a case like this, you want to be as careful as possible. And the scientists working on this case are going to test as much DNA as they can. They`ll try and test the mitochondrial DNA and also the nuclear DNA and compare it with other samples or specimens that they may have access to.

For instance, when I heard they went into homes to get different items that were in the homes, the grandparents` and the parent`s home, perhaps they were looking for a hair brush that might have hair on it so they could compare the hair that the child used -- the hair brush the child used with the DNA findings that they`re getting now from the skull, from the teeth in the skull, from the marrow in the bones.

So with a case like this, you want to be as careful as possible. There are hundreds of pieces of evidence, and if one is contaminated or a mistake made with one, then the whole case is going to be attacked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m talking about basic identification. Is it really taking that long? I mean, we`ve got, potentially, dental records. You have, you know, various other ways to make a match. Do you think they really know and they`re just holding off to get the actual forensics that will prove 100 percent or 99.999 percent?

MANION: Well, again in a case like this, a criminal case, it`s beyond a reasonable doubt. So I think it...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I`m talking about just telling the public, hey, this is who this child is. I mean Christmas is approaching. This is putting a stress on hundreds of people, millions, really, who have become emotionally invested in this case, but particularly people who are working the crime scene. The stress is unbelievable.

I think that they should accelerate it as much as they can, suffice it to say.

I`d like to go to somebody on the phone that I`ve known for quite a few years. Her name, she goes by Boston Donna. She`s one of the most effective crime fighters in California, runs one of the most highly successful neighborhood watch programs and has a lot of contacts with authorities.

Boston, are you there?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. This is a theory. I know it`s just a theory. But what is your theory about why authorities seized from the Anthony home the pesticide container as well as the vacuum cleaners?

DONNA: Well, murder is very -- murder is a very simple thing. There`s only four or five reasons why people kill: love, hate, money, revenge and jealousy. And because of the evidence and the scientific side of it, you know, it`s more -- it`s more involved.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to hear about the pesticide cans and the vacuum cleaner.

DONNA: The simple thing is -- is I think that she left Caylee in the trunk and set it up for possibly a kidnap. That explains the tape on the mouth and the chloroform. And I think she got caught, that she couldn`t dump the body or couldn`t figure out.

And when the maggots set in and her father went out to the garage, she was in the process or realized there were maggots. She had to kill the maggots and vacuum it up and clean the trunk. Now...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did she use -- you`re saying did she use the pesticides to clean the maggots and to kill the maggots and then the vacuum cleaner to clean it up?

DONNA: Absolutely. There are special teams at a murder -- after a murder scene in an apartment or a house or a boat, wherever, that they have special chemicals to kill the death smell. And, you know, first of all, pizzas don`t get maggots, hate to tell you. Dead bodies do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to get Dr. Bill Manion`s reaction of the pathologist. Kooky theory or does she have a possible point there?

MANION: I don`t know believe that theory. I -- I`m not sure what -- to me, the pesticides might be something that was used to kill the individual.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, there were maggots. Doctor, there are maggots after a body is deceased. How soon do those maggots develop? Because we don`t really know exactly when this body was disposed of, but if in the Florida heat, if the maggots come quickly, there would be a lot of maggots.

MANION: Yes. Yes, they would be there within a day or so, but I can`t imagine somebody spraying maggots. Is that what they`re saying? They`re spraying them -- spraying the maggots with a pesticide?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, how else are you going to get rid of them? All right. OK.

BANFIELD: I might have an answer for you. Today in court there was something that was revealed that was terribly interesting. The medical examiner`s attorney essentially revealed to the court that a three-inch portion of bone from these remains is going to be macerated, essentially completely crushed and destroyed so that they can do toxicology tests on this bone.

That may very well be what they`re looking to match up with whatever pesticides are in the home. This was kind of the issue with the defense attorneys. They`re very concerned about destruction of evidence, even if it`s for something as important as toxicology.

But a three-inch portion of bone will be destroyed for the medical examiner`s toxicology test.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashleigh, thank you for that insight. We`re going to continue to discuss these theories. Stay right there. We have a lot more to talk about.

And I want to hear from you. Do you think there`s enough evidence to convict Casey Anthony of murder? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586- 7297.

But first listen to the dramatic 911 call placed after the remains were found.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, this is Orange County utility emergency dispatch. We found a human skull.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. We got -- is it a meter reader?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to let you speak right now with a representative from our field services. Hi. Everything is recorded. Here he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing? It smells foul. I believe it`s human.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the location?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right off of Suburban and Chickasaw, the Caylee Anthony area, right by the...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh. Do you have a specific address for me or not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It`s right by the school. If you take the...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Behind Chickasaw (ph). And what is your party`s name that we`re going to meet with? He`s not touching this, I hope.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a meter reader.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll just tell him to stay at that location and just stay away from everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And if you can, try and instruct to him to please not draw attention to the area.





DELAHUNTY: What we will not do is we will not release photographs of the skull of this little girl to then be broadcast all over the news before the body has even been identified, before the parents have been notified.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s Ann Marie Delahunty, attorney for the Orange County Sheriff`s Department. At an emergency hearing today, the sheriff`s department now backpedaling, saying no I.D., gender or otherwise, has been made.

I want to hear your thoughts. Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586- 7297 with your questions or comments.

I`m joined again by my fabulous panel. We`re going to get to the phones in one moment. But first, Brian Russell, your thoughts on the whole notion that these pesticides could have killed the maggots.

BRIAN RUSSELL, PSYCHOLOGIST: Hi, Jane. You know, I`m a psychologist, not a pathologist, but I can tell you that people have in the past used pesticides to try to accelerate the composition of bodies. And maybe our pathologist can weigh in on that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Kathi Belich, did they find maggots? I know there was a terrible stench in the trunk, and some blamed it on pizza, which doesn`t create that kind of stench. But did they ever find the maggots? Because if not, they would have had to have been gotten ridden of, assuming that, in fact, there was a dead body in that trunk.

BELICH: Yes, they did find maggots in the trunk of the car, and they are also looking at the remains in the woods and other bugs in the woods, and they`re trying to match things up, obviously. But they did find maggots in the trunk.

And if I may make one comment about the sheriff`s office attorney in court today, making mention of the little girl`s skull. I think that that was taken out of context. She was talking about down the road if those remains are, in fact, identified as Caylee`s remains. And then she went on to say what you just heard a couple of minutes ago. So I think her statement might have been taken out of context.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, OK. Well, it was the "Orlando Sentinel" that was reporting that this was the first time a gender had been mentioned. But yes, obviously, those attorneys are doing a fabulous job in court. And it`s a very, very difficult situation where one false word and the whole world erupts with this kind of case.

The phone lines absolutely jam-packed. Karen in Nevada, your thoughts or question, ma`am?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. What I was wondering is everybody knows the Anthonys had two dogs and that animal hair transfers very easily. I`m wondering if they didn`t find some dog hairs in the bag or on the tape and maybe trying to match it up with what they find in the vacuum cleaner.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, your thoughts on that? Because obviously, the big problem with all this is that, Caylee Anthony came from that family, so therefore, even if you found incriminating fibers, you could say, well, that`s because she came from that family.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Exactly. Just like the brush, hair brush which will have her 2-year-old`s hair. I mean, how often -- anybody with kids knows that when you`re brushing your hair or you brush your child`s hair or whatever, of course, that hair will transfer.

We`re just speculating. What happened in court, today, however was not speculating. What happened in court today was, I think, terrible. The defense does not want to participate in these proceedings. The defense wants to merely level the playing field. They want to observe. That`s all they want to do, is see what they are doing, the state`s experts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, here`s the thing.

WEINTRAUB: Wait. Can I just say one thing?


WEINTRAUB: The reason is, when on the witness -- the medical examiner will be on the witness stand and he`ll be cross-examined by the defense. And Linda Baden will say, "Well, isn`t it true, sir, that you didn`t even try to do blah, blah, blah?"

And the witness will then say, "Well, you weren`t there. I was there and I saw."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but listen. When do -- since when do defense attorneys have access to a crime scene? The reason it`s called a crime scene is because there`s tape around it and other people can`t get in, especially since this child hasn`t been identified. They don`t really have a seat at the table at this point, because it hasn`t been identified.

BANFIELD: Jane, you know what? You`re so right. Jane...


WEINTRAUB: ... haven`t identified the body on purpose, Jane. And the reason they`re not is because they`ve given it now to the FBI lab. And that was a slip in the court today by one of the lawyers. And when they said it went to the FBI lab for the DNA, Linda Baden jumped on them. By Florida statute, the preserves and the remains must go to the medical examiner. And, gee, have you ever heard about the FBI lab and all the things...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashleigh, jump in.

BANFIELD: I`d like to defer to Jayne. She`s a lot more knowledgeable about the law than I. But I also defer to the judge in this case who said, quote, "I can`t have you interfering in a murder investigation. It would be derelict if I did that, if I tried to stop them from doing their job." He went on to say that there`s no requirement of the law to give the defense attorneys this kind of relief that they`re seeking in court and that no reasonable judge would do it.



WEINTRAUB: Let me say this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I see a whole garbage in, garbage out scenario being set up. And this is exactly what happened in O.J. Simpson and every high- profile trial after. It`s "Oh, they`ve messed up the cream scene."

What are these investigators supposed to do? Fly in and hover above the crime scene without ever touching the ground? Of course you have to mess up the crime scene in order to gather evidence. You can`t leave it exactly the way you found it. It`s -- it`s just a mind game that they`re playing.

Everyone stick around. Everybody can comment in just a second. I`m taking more viewer calls. What do you think of all this legal wrangling of the evidence? Dial 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297 and let me know.

But first here`s the Anthony family attorney describing the hell the family`s been through.


BRAD CONWAY, ANTHONY FAMILY ATTORNEY: And again, devastated by the fact that this may be their granddaughter, and if not some other family has suffered a tragic loss. So right now, they`re worn down. They`re tired. They`re tired of the negative publicity that they certainly don`t deserve.




CAYLEE ANTHONY, MISSING GIRL: (singing "You Are My Sunshine")


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beautiful little Caylee Anthony, missing since June. Have police finally uncovered her remains?

The phone lines lighting up. Thank you for your patience. Tina in Connecticut, your thought or question?

CALLER: Yes. It was said that George Anthony was parked on the side of the road at one point, staring into the woods. I was wondering if that was the area.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kathi Belich, what do you know about George staring into the woods? Certainly, there would be a reasonable explanation. He might be very depressed and just having a moment of contemplation.

BELICH: I`m not sure why he was there, but it was not the same area. It`s not the same area where these remains were found. I just was thinking about that the other day, actually. You know, I don`t know whether anyone in the family would have had any indication where these remains were, but it was not the same location.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thanks for clearing that up.

Michael in Ohio. Your question or comment?

CALLER: Hi, thank you for taking my call.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for calling.

CALLER: The prosecution was ready to go forward and prosecute without a body, so my question is can the jury disregard the forensic evidence if the defense shoots all kinds of stupid holes in it and just go with the circumstantial evidence or her behavior after the crime, like the fact that she led them to an empty apartment where the nanny supposedly lived, where supposedly, you know, she`s going to use as her defense, and she`s sticking to it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Great question. Jayne Weintraub, take it away.

WEINTRAUB: Normally would gather the -- to answer your question, first, they would normally gather the evidence before the indictment. And that`s why it`s unusual to have to bring these motions to preserve the evidence or observe the crime scene gathering at this point.

It is extremely unusual that they have indicted without the body and now they found the body. So now they`re looking for evidence to match their theory. Kind of like, "Well, let`s see what it is."

Now, Michael is asking what if the defense wants to poke holes in it? We don`t know what it is yet. Maybe the state was wrong. Maybe they`re going to find it was an accident.


WEINTRAUB: Maybe they`re going to find that the time -- from the bugs and the entomologist, that the time of death was two months ago. We don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ashley, jump in.

BANFIELD: Yes. The circumstantial case already has been so strong. And you know what? Don`t ever believe anyone when you hear them utter those silly little words: "It`s just a circumstantial case." I`ve seen convictions on weak circumstantial cases.

They could have theoretically gotten a conviction on circumstantial evidence without a body.


RUSSELL: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Russell, jump in.

BANFIELD: That`s why they had to contemplate death penalty in the first place.

RUSSELL: Absolutely.

WEINTRAUB: You`re right. Ashleigh, in Florida as a matter of fact, the jurors are absolutely told, they`re instructed by the court at the end of the case that circumstantial evidence may be considered by you the same as direct evidence. You can give it whatever weight you want.

BANFIELD: Sometimes it`s stronger. And sometimes circumstantial evidence is stronger.

RUSSELL: If it`s strong enough to eliminate reasonable doubt.

MANION: I wanted to mention about the autopsy. I think it was a mistake not to allow the defense to have a pathologist there at the autopsy.


MANION: That to me implies the pathologist is doing something secretive or something different. I`ve had autopsies where I have another pathologist observe me. That`s no problem. I`m not going to do the case any different, whether I work alone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I happen to agree with you. It should be an impartial practice, and it shouldn`t have anything -- there shouldn`t be any shame in anything they do. They should reveal it.

Hang tight. Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. What do you think about how this investigation is being handled?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stunning new developments as the search for bones continues where a child`s skull is found near the home of missing toddler Caylee Anthony. Tonight America waits for the DNA results. This case has gripped the nation for six months and now we are finally close to some answers.

Give us a call and tell us what you think at 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

We`re going to get those calls in just a second; they are stacking up. But yesterday one of my guests, Zach Stine, a reported with Newstalk AM-580 WDBO out of Orlando, Florida, said this.


ZACH STINE, REPORTER, NEWSTALK AM-580 WDBO, ORLANDO: Share that with you the night that the stuff was found, Casey Anthony had a panic attack in her cell and needed a sedative. And why? She didn`t cry. She didn`t break down. She had a panic attack.

Why do people have panic attacks? So they get caught. But that`s you -- I don`t know, that`s what you can glean from it. The Anthony`s home keeps getting searched.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now that is from sources. Bryon Russell, you are a forensic psychologist. What does it say to you?

BRYAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: I`m hearing the same Jane, that she had what amounts to an emotional break down and had to be sedated. People who haven`t been following this since the summer like we all have, might say, well, that`s an understandable reaction from a mother who is finding out that there`s no hope that her child will be returned alive.

But I think having followed it since during the summer it is equally likely that this was a reaction that was a realization that the gig is up and that the evidence is going to be brought in and there`s going to be a strong forensic case now to add to the circumstantial evidence that we were talking about in the last segment and there`s a high likelihood that she`s going to be convicted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can something like that actually be introduced in court as evidence that she had kind of -- if, in fact, she had an emotional breakdown. Can the prosecution use that?

RUSSELL: Well, Jayne Weintraub might want to weigh in on that. But I don`t think it would -- I don`t think it`s got a lot of probative value because it has two different interpretations.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, then let Jayne weigh in on it. Jayne, weigh in on it.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No I don`t -- I think that this case might try in this case to get that into evidence but, no, I don`t think they`d be successful because there`s no videotape of this quote, "panic attack." It could just as well has been she was overcome with grief. We really don`t know and because we don`t have any evidence of it.

And now, we`re just having a rumor of why she has to be sedated, I mean, there are million reasons why a mom would be sedated here in this exact moment.



ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": I`ve heard other jailhouse employees testifying regularly about the reactions, the words, the admissions, any -- actually any behavior of an inmate at any time especially if their defendants in a murder trial. So I wouldn`t put it past anybody if to see if they can`t get that into court.

But at same time, let`s all remember everybody characterized this things differently. I`ve also read that she`s sought and asked for a sedative which I would do if I heard that same news about my children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting it cuts both ways.

Ginny in North Carolina, thanks for you patience. Your question or comment, ma`am.

GINNY OF NORTH CAROLINA: Hey, Jane. I had a question. I was just wondering if Caylee`s father, has he been told or notified, and if so, what his reaction was?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was he told what? I`m sorry.

GINNY: Has Caylee`s father been told about any of this that`s been going on because nobody has said anything about him?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Kathi Belich isn`t -- oh thank you, ma`am. That`s a very good question. But Kathi Belich, do we know who the father is. I think not.

KATHI BELICH, WFTV, ORLANDO: I think we don`t know. Casey has given so many stories about who the father is and so far the investigators can find no credence in any of those stories. So at this point it`s still a question.

BANFIELD: In fact, Cindy Anthony has said in interviews already up into this point, now we`ll never know who the father of Caylee is, which is telling to some because that was early in this investigation. Before we were looking at murder charges it was just a missing child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Dawn in Ohio, your question or comment.

DAWN IN OHIO: Yes. Back around Labor Day, I`m not sure quite what a day it was but they gave Casey Anthony a chance to come forward and say Caylee`s death was an accident. But she never confessed to it and time ran out. So is it too late for her to say it was an accident now?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, great question, Jayne Weintraub.

WEINTRAUB: It`s never too late to tell the truth if you want. However we`re in the United States of America and we have a Fifth Amendment Right not to incriminate ourselves.

And as of right now, she`s exercising her right to remain silent and any good lawyer would tell her right now, do not say anything because you know what? Nothing she says is going to be believed right now either.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s true. Well, that`s one of problems when you lie a lot that when you do tell the truth, everybody thinks you`re lying.

WEINTRAUB: Or you`re mentally ill.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. Well, the insanity defense, I`ve heard that wouldn`t be a -- wouldn`t be effective here, but certainly it`s something one that has to contemplate given all the conduct in this case.

Kelly in California, you`re thought or question.

KELLY IN CALIFORNIA: Yes. They already have DNA matched to the hair that was found in the trunk with the death band (ph) on it. And so why is it taking so long to match the DNA from the phone to that hair? Can`t they do that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Bill Manion, why is it taking so long?

DR. BILL MANION: Again, there are many, many samples that they gathered at this crime scene, and as I said before, they want to match the maternal DNA, they want to match the nuclear DNA, they want to match fibers that they found.

They watch to match as much evidence as possible. If they come up with something conflicting, then that`s going to delay their findings even more because they may find DNA that doesn`t match other DNA and wonder where that came from.

WEINTRAUB: And they might find that it`s belonging to somebody else, a total stranger.

MANION: Exactly. Exactly.

WEINTRAUB: So they might have the wrong person like we don`t hear -- or read all the time when people serving 20 years now being released from the innocence process because there was a mistake made --

MANION: Exactly.

WEINTRAUB: And unfortunately the person just served 20 years in jail.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And just a tidbit because everybody is saying well the dental records. But when children are 2-years-old, sometimes they don`t get x-rayed and therefore even if they have dental records it might not show that conclusive match and that`s possibly why the dental records haven`t produced a quick ID in this case.

Sunny in Indiana, your thought or question.

SUNNY IN INDIANA: Yes, I have a suggestion. She`s told us from the beginning where that child was when she said it`s close to home. I don`t think she should get the death penalty. She needs to live every single day and watch videos of that child and pictures of that child, that she killed her own child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we haven`t gone to trial yet and so she has not been convicted of anything, just accused but you mention a very important point. And we have those words. Will Casey`s own words come back to haunt her? Listen.

All right. We`re going to have it in just a second.

WEINTRAUB: You know, Jane, if I could jump in --


WEINTRAUB: One of the things that we were talking about before, is that you know the prosecutors argued against emotions in court today, saying that the medical examiner is a neutral officer, which is not true.

They`re basically saying the medical examiner wouldn`t lie and just take his word for it and don`t contradict it. Whereas the doctor even here on the panel says what`s the harm and basically creates an issue for the defense.

MANION: Exactly.

WEINTRAUB: But the other problem is, just a few miles way in Pensacola we had a boot camp situation last year --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in. I think one of the reasons is that they are afraid of funny business on the defense end, if the defense is going to start questioning everything they did and make all sorts of garbage-in, garbage-out allegations especially when he considered that they have assembled the dream team that is very similar to the O.J. Simpson dream team including Dr. Henry Lee.

WEINTRAUB: And they`re very professional. These are not --

BANFIELD: The fact of the matter is an autopsy is not a public process. You`re not allowed to just go to anyone`s autopsy. And right now we do not have an identification that this was Caylee Anthony.

If it were, an identification positive for Caylee Anthony, the defense would have a right to petition the court to be present for those kinds of tests. Right now this is an autopsy of an unknown person and therefore the privacy issues have to be respected.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And therefore --

BANFIELD: And the courts have dealt with it and the courts have denied those motions already.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s why some people are saying, hey, they really know but they`re not saying because the second they say, they`re going to have to open up all these procedures to the Feds.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I promised you the sound of Casey. And let`s listen to it now.


LEE ANTHONY, BROTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: Do you think Caylee is ok right now?

CASEY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CAYLEE ANTHONY: My gut feeling? As mom asked me yesterday and they asked me last night and the psychologist asked me this morning that I met with through the court. In my gut, she is still ok, and it still feels like she`s close to home.


CASEY ANTHONY: So I mean, that is still my best feeling at the moment.


RUSSELL: How matter of fact that is Jane.


RUSSELL: Listen to how matter of fact that is. That doesn`t really sound like a distraught mother who believes that her child is out there safe and alive and she`s stuck there in jail and not able to be out looking for her. It doesn`t to me. Does it to you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will say this about grief. It`s never the way it is in the movies. Or the reactions of human beings are never the way they appear on the movies. There are books written about the various stages of grief. And most people become numb.

And I learned that in my own life when my father passed away. I was so shocked at my own reactions it weren`t like crying hysterically. And it took me years of really investigating to find out that`s a very common reaction and we all feel guilty about it.

So that`s the problem with all of this. It`s hard to read in. It`s like a Rorschach test, it says more about the person asking the question than the person who is exhibiting the behavior.

Sandy in New Jersey, your comments or questions.

SANDY IN NEW JERSEY: Hi Jane, I have a comment regarding the grandparents` behavior. You know what? Let`s be honest. They dropped the ball. They knew the character of their daughter and they let that daughter walk out of the house with that child with really nowhere to go.

She was going to a friend`s house.

I`m a grandmother, I`m a mother, and if I knew my daughter was doing the things that Casey Anthony did, I wouldn`t let her walk out with a two- year-old granddaughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent point.

Ashleigh Banfield, you wonder sometimes why didn`t Cindy adopt this child legally a long time ago when her daughter started acting out.

BANFIELD: I can`t speak to that. Everybody has a right to raise his or her own child the way she sees fit as long as she abides by the law. And until they do any sort of action whereby can be reported to Child Protective Services, no one has the right -- grandparents don`t have the right to dictate the comings and goings of their children`s children. Sadly sometimes you wish they did, but in the end, parents have parental rights.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what? Ashley -- it occurs to me the real tragedy here is this young girl was a teenager when she had this child, didn`t want the child. Tried to give it away, the mother said no and that`s the real morality story of all this, that kids shouldn`t be having kids.

But I want to thank a Cathy, Jayne, Bryon, and Bill. Great job. And of course, Ashleigh, great job, but hang tight, Ashleigh. We`ll be back with you in a second.

Just a reminder. More details on the Caylee Anthony case immediately following this program at 8:00 p.m. Eastern when Nancy Grace will weigh in on today`s stunning developments.

Now 27 years ago, six-year-old Adam Walsh abducted from a mall and murdered. Today the case was finally closed.



JOHN WALSH, ADAM WALSH`S FATHER: I say to parents of missing children, murdered children, to all crime victims in America, the criminal justice system sometimes is the criminal injustice system. I`ve seen it first hand; sometimes it doesn`t work. But there isn`t a better system; I`ve never seen one in the whole world and on wanted fugitives all over the world.

Don`t give up hope.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: An emotion packed day for the famous father of a boy murdered 27 years ago. In 1981, six-year-old Adam Walsh was kidnapped at a Sears Department Store in a Florida mall. Finally that case was officially closed today as the father now famous for "America`s Most Wanted" fought back tears.

A serial killer and drifter named Ottis Toole who died in prison 1996 officially named the killer today of TV host John Walsh`s son. The boy`s decapitated head found two weeks after he went missing, his body never recovered.

It was one of the country`s most famous abduction murder cases and caused John Walsh to turn his grief into action. He co-founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. More than 132,000 children have been recovered as a result.

John Walsh went on to host "America`s Most Wanted," which has led to the capture of more than a thousand fugitives.

Unlike Caylee Anthony there was no DNA testing 27 years ago.

Here to analyze this tragedy: Ashleigh Banfield, the anchor of "In Session"; Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some"; and Don Clark, a for FBI special agent.

Wendy, there was a lot of evidence against this now dead drifter, long considered the prime suspect. Why didn`t this declaration of Toole as the killer happen a long, long time ago?

WENDY MURPHY, AUTHOR, "AND JUSTICE FOR SOME": That`s actually a great question because law enforcement officials admitted today that they made this announcement but not because they have any new evidence. So nothing much has changed in terms of forensics and so forth.

I don`t know. You know, there are good reasons not to have gone against this guy in terms of prosecuting him even when he was alive because he confessed. That was the strongest evidence. He confessed. But he also confessed to killing dozens and dozens of other people, and they were all fake confessions.

The guy was a bit loony. There was no DNA. I`m not sure. Ever the fly in the ointment, I`m going to be the one tonight who says I`m not persuaded that there really is sufficient proof that this guy is the real killer.


MURPHY: That`s just how I feel. I`ve looked at the record. I don`t see it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, first of all I think it`s so important for this family to get closure.

MURPHY: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This man is deceased. As was mentioned at today`s news conference, there are people on death row who have less evidence against them than this person had against him in this case. And according to the niece of the man who was declared a killer today, he confessed on his death bed. Yes, he confessed twice, recanted twice, but then ultimately on his death bed apparently he did confess.

Ashleigh Banfield, you worked for "America`s Most Wanted" and you know John Walsh. You saw the emotion today. What hell has this man been through?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": He`s one of those extraordinary Americans whose has been able to take the worst adversity that one can face in life and turn it into a benefit to the rest of us. You just mentioned close to a thousand different cases solved because of his work on "America`s Most Wanted."

He`s one of the hardest working people I have every met and has just unbearable focus. And I think it might be because he was at some point in his life just trying to shield the pain that never goes away. I think if you lose a child -- don`t expect for a minute that John Walsh isn`t it going to continue going forward with this vigilance that he has in solving crime because this is now his life`s work mission and it`s in his DNA and his fabric.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And sometimes grief, you just get a daily reprieve by doing something that takes away the grief for a short period of time and then it comes back and then you`ve got to do more.

Listen to what John Walsh said about mistakes made in this case.


WALSH: Some horrible egregious mistakes were made, but that`s not what I`m about. I want to close this case to the best of my ability. There wasn`t the technology back then. Evidence was lost over the years; the bloody piece of carpet in Ottis Toole`s car. There was no DNA when that evidence was lost.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don Clark, former special agent in charge of the Houston FBI, it wasn`t just the lack of technology; there were big blunders made.

DON CLARK, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, Jane, there were big blunders made. And certainly I remember when this case took place. And I have to say my hat`s off to John. He did a remarkable job and changed our whole thinking.

And let me talk about some of the good things to show you what happened there. Today what we have is we have law enforcement reaching out to the community. We have local and federal law enforcement working together.

When Adam disappeared, they didn`t work together like that. The FBI rarely got itself involved in a case like that unless it crossed state lines. Now today, I don`t care where it goes. If it`s in my territory, we`re going to follow with it and try to solve the case. John didn`t have that happen back in the day of Adam.

So I can understand his feelings but I have to take my hat off and appreciate what he`s done because I think he`s caused law enforcement and the community.

Look at the alerts that we have now when a kid even goes missing. So it all came about as good things, but somebody had to pay an ultimate price.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t have the time to mention all the things that have changed because of the work of John Walsh.

This was the Caylee Anthony case of that era, Ashleigh Banfield. A lot has changed, the technology and the media, too.

BANFIELD: Well, yes. We sure didn`t have the kind of cable news that we have now, that`s wall to wall and puts a lot of pressure as well on the system. We heard it in court today. Part of the problem in court today is that the sheriff`s office is worried about turning things over to the defense, and then ultimately seeing these things on cable news.

So things were different in John Walsh`s case back in `81. And as everyone has already mentioned, they found the carpet stained with blood from the white Cadillac. They had the car. Were they able to actually do some DNA testing at the time, they could have had -- you know, a positive ID right away. And then when they did order it, that stuff was gone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. More on the case of Adam Walsh and how it still influences abduction search today.



WALSH: For 27 years, we`ve been asking who could take a 6-year-old boy and murder him and decapitate him? Who? We needed to know. We needed to know. And today we know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at the suffering in his eyes, Wendy Murphy. One thing that hasn`t changed - the hideous nature of the crimes over the years. Look at the kidnapping and murder of little Jessica Lunsford by John Couey in 2005 in Florida.

MURPHY: Yes and I have a seven-year-old daughter, and it breaks my heart to see that. And God bless him, he has done such a good job of giving voice to children, the ultimate defenseless kids -- citizens.

But he has also been a good critic of the system, as I am in my book. I love critics of the system. And that has made a lot of difference, too, because what he said was, look, there was blood-stained carpet; it`s missing. It`s not that they didn`t test it, it got lost. And then guess what else they lost? The guy`s car -- how do you lose a car?

The fact that this case wouldn`t be prosecutable is largely because of a failure of systemic oversight and accountability for the kinds of basic evidentiary issues that we expect today.

You find a guy`s car -- don`t lose it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don Clark, this is a cautionary tale for investigators, so many errors, what`s the lesson?

CLARK: Well, the lesson is, is that we`ve always got to protect our evidence. And that`s why we make cases; that`s what law enforcement is all about.

But then, Jane, there is another aspect of this, too, and it`s called prevention. And since 9/11, that`s been the most used word that we`ve ever had, it`s prevention. And we have got to make sure these predators are known out there. We`ve got to make sure we have our hands on them. And we`ve got too make sure we keep them away from kids to the extent that we possibly can.

But when the crime occurs, God forbid that anything would happen what we saw happen 27 and a half years ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashleigh, we`ve got 20 seconds.

BANFIELD: Things are so much more different now. CSI, DNA, trace evidence, a half acre being explored right now in the Casey Anthony story. Chain of custody, evidence preservations; things have changed in 25 years. I doubt we`d see the same blunders in Casey`s case that we saw in Adam Walsh`s.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, from your mouth to God`s ears, I pray these cases are not bungled. And I want to thank all of you for weighing in on this really tragic day, yet a day hopefully that will give closure to this family. We hope.

Thank you all. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell and you are watching "ISSUES."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police and family members still desperately search remote areas of upstate New York for any clues that may lead them to beautiful Texas native Laura Garza. The 25-year-old has been missing now for two weeks, and was last seen in the company of a convicted sex offender. We will have the latest details on that case tomorrow.

Time now to check in with Nancy Grace. Nancy, what`s up?

NANCY GRACE, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR, "NANCY GRACE": Well, Jane, today in court a state`s attorney seemed to slip up and confirm for the first time by accident it is the skull of a little girl that has been found in Florida. And another bombshell tonight: are grandparents, George and Cindy seeking full immunity?

Today, Jane, they admit to conflicting statements, and now they want to cooperate, and just hours ago, the defense in court demanding a second autopsy and to be there on the crime scene.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, this case becomes more tragic the more it unfolds. And Nancy has all of the latest details.

"Nancy Grace" starts right now.