Ten years since Caylee Anthony's remains were found, family still picking up the pieces
Nearly 10 years after the incident, the two-year-old's disappearance and the eventual confirmation of her death still haunts her grandparents.
Caylee Anthony's grandmother, Cindy Anthony, reported the two-year-old missing on July 15, 2008 after not seeing her granddaughter for weeks. As people feared the worst, Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, insisted that her daughter was still alive, and had been kidnapped by a nanny.
Authorities searched for the child for months as the family held out some hope until December 11 of that year. The two-year-old's body was found in a wooded area close to their family home, five months after she was reported missing. The medical examiner reportedly could not determine a cause of death as the child's remains were skeletonized by the time they were found.
The case was ultimately ruled a homicide considering Caylee's remains had duct tape over her mouth and had been placed into a trash bag. Nearly 10 years after the incident, the case still haunts the child's grandparents.
"George and Cindy Anthony think about Caylee every day. December 11 was the worst day of their life. It shook them and destroyed them, and they’ve spent the last 10 years trying to rebuild from that — and haven’t had a lot of success," a source close to the family said, according to PEOPLE.
“They were out of Florida on the day they got the news, and they were still operating under the assumption that Caylee was still alive out there,” the source said.
“When they learned about it, Cindy almost passed out. She was distraught and just started to scream. George was sobbing. They were absolutely devastated.”
Caylee's disappearance caused fissures in the family, and the members are still picking up the pieces to this date. Casey, who lived in a modest home in Orlando with her parents and her 2-year-old daughter, has barely been in touch with her family ever since her parents suspected her responsible for the death of her daughter.
On July 15, 2008, Cindy reported that her granddaughter was missing after not seeing her for 31 days and suspected that her daughter Casey had murdered her. She informed the authorities that her daughter's car trunk was smelling like a dead body had been there.
Caylee's body was eventually discovered in December that year not far away from the couple's home and was found wrapped in a blanket and put inside a trash bag. Cindy's phone call to 911 eventually launched a case full of twists and suspense. When questioned by detectives, Casey gave varying accounts of her daughter's whereabouts and was later charged with first-degree murder and pleaded not guilty.
Casey was later found not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child, however, she was found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. With her due term served, she was released on July 17, 2011, and was met with public outrage and media trials.
The Anthony family has never been the same ever since Casey's release. Casey, despite keeping a low-profile all these years, gave an interview to the Associated Press last year, speculating how her daughter would have grown up. "Caylee would be 12 right now. And would be a total badass,” she said. “I’d like to think she’d be listening to classic rock, playing sports and putting up with no sh–" she said.