Detectives investigating Caylee Anthony's death overlooked a computer search for fool-proof suffocation methods made from the little girl's home. The case captured national attention in 2011.
The Florida sheriff's office that investigated Caylee Anthony's death says it overlooked a computer search for suffocation made from the little girl's home on the day she was last seen alive.
Orange County sheriff's Capt. Angelo Nieves said Sunday that the office's computer investigator missed a June 16, 2008, Google search for fool-proof suffocation methods. The oversight was first reported by Orlando television station WKMG. It's not known who performed the search. The station reported it was done on a browser primarily used by the 2-year-old's mother, Casey Anthony.
The girl's body was found six months after she disappeared.
Casey Anthony was acquitted of her daughter's murder in 2011. Her attorneys argued that the toddler accidentally drowned in the family pool and that Casey Anthony's father helped her cover it up.
Though computer searches were a key issue at Anthony's murder trial, the term "foolproof suffocation" never came up, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Anthony's criminal defense attorney, Jose Baez, later wrote about the "foolproof suffocation" search in his book, "Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story."
Prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick said in an email to the Sentinel on Tuesday that the Orange County Sheriff's Office has confirmed, as Baez wrote, that "there was a computer search on 'foolproof suffocation' on 6-16-08 that they did not find."
Burdick said this information "is not 'new,'" because it was already published in Baez's book months ago. Baez's book suggested the potentially incriminating search was likely conducted by Casey Anthony's father, George.
But the WKMG report found that Baez's timeline was off by about an hour. If true, the searches would have occurred after George Anthony was believed to have left for work that day, the Sentinel reports.
"Our investigation reveals the person most likely at the computer was Casey Anthony," Pipitone said Tuesday night.
Baez criticized the report before it aired in an interview with the Sentinel, describing it as "the standard anti-Casey spin." He said that it was impossible to say definitively who was using the computer when the searches were made, and said he was confident his information is right.
"I had multiple experts verify our results, independently," Baez said.
Burdick's fellow prosecutor Jeff Ashton, who declined to comment when reached before the report aired, said in a statement to WKMG that it's "a shame we didn't have it. (It would have) put the accidental death claim in serious question."