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Casey Anthony Cops Botched Search Of Computer, Missed Crucial Evidence, TV Report Claims

//casey anthony evidence caylee ap_

Nov. 21 2012, Published 11:00 a.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Reporter

A damning new local television report in Florida claims to have unearthed evidence that could have changed the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, and has all the ground-breaking details.

The shocking report that aired on Tuesday night on Orlando's WKMG-TV alleges that during her murder trial Anthony's defense team sat anxiously awaiting the prosecution to bring up the bombshell that someone in the Anthony home had searched on a computer for how to kill with poison and suffocation - the same day that her daughter, Caylee, died.

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But the bomb never exploded, alleged the world exclusive by star WKMG-TV reporter Tony Pipitone.

"We were waiting for the state to bring it up," defense attorney Jose Baez told Local 6, revealing he was going to claim Casey's father George Anthony did the alleged search. "And when they didn't, we were kind of shocked."

As previously reported, WKMG claims that prosecutors missed 98 percent of a crucial batch of evidence that they could have used to try to prove Casey's guilt, including an alleged online search for "fool proof suffocation" on the Anthony family computer, which they were not aware of until Local 6 revealed it last week.

The expose brought to light even more revelations about what allegedly happened on Monday, June 16, 2008, the day that Caylee died, such as after George said he had left for work, the Anthony family's desktop computer was allegedly activated by someone using a password-protected account Casey Anthony was the main user of.

At 2:51 p.m. a Google search for the term "fool-proof suffocation," misspelling the last word as "suffication" was typed in to the computer according to the report.

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Five seconds later, the user allegedly clicked on an article about websites that included advice on "fool proof" ways to suffocate someone.

When approached by WKMG-TV trial prosecutor Jeff Ashton lamented over the alleged missed evidence and said: "It's just a shame we didn't have it. This certainly would have put the accidental death claim in serious question."

The high profile murder case that ended in Casey's acquittal captivated the nation, involved three years of painstaking investigation and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So why was such alleged crucial evidence neglected?

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"I don't think it's appropriate for me to say this person messed up, that person messed up or we messed up," said Ashton.

According to the report, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office allegedly possessed the evidence but failed to extract it and hand it over to prosecutors, which sheriff Captain Angelo Nieves now calls "an oversight." Going on to tell WKMG: "This has been a learning experience for investigators as well."

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WKMG reports that prosecutors did ask for the Internet history from that fateful day, but the request came too late - approximately two months before the trial started - and after they had learned that Anthony was going to claim she was awakened that morning by her frantic father looking for a missing Caylee.

Lead prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick told the reporter that she had initially hoped to disprove Casey's statement by finding out, and subsequently presenting to the jury, exactly what Anthony had been looking at on her computer at the time of Caylee's death.

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However, lead sheriff's Investigator Yuri Melich allegedly sent Burdick a spreadsheet that contained less than two percent of the computer’s Internet activity that day.

The alleged fatal flaw came about because Melich allegedly only presented data from the computer’s Internet Explorer browser – one Casey Anthony had apparently stopped using months earlier. Since March, she preferred to use the computer’s Mozilla Firefox browser, as investigators already knew.

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So, instead they allegedly only discovered 17 vague entries, and missed the 1,247 entries -  98.7 percent - recorded on the Mozilla Firefox browser that day - including the search for "fool proof suffocation."

Melich declined to comment on the allegations, and the then-head of the computer crimes section, Sgt. Kevin Stenger, has since retired and could not be reached for comment.

However, according to the report, in September 2012, Phoenix, Arizona attorney Isabel Humphrey did what investigators in Florida did not - allegedly obtaining the evidence that could have proven to have been the smoking gun in the controversial trial.

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Humphrey reportedly obtained the computer's full browser histories in August through a public records request, and when she later asked Osbourne in an e-mail about the alleged oversight, she reportedly claimed she was never asked to conduct a search for "suffocation."

"It really doesn't take more than 15 or 20 minutes to look through the entire Internet history for June 16 and I would have thought if there was one day you were going to pick, that would be the day," Humphrey told reporters.

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Humphrey then recruited John Goetz, a retired engineer and computer expert in Connecticut, to extract the alleged records, which took only two hours, and he sent them to Local 6 in August.

Among the evidence that he reportedly discovered was that it was allegedly Casey Anthony’s AIM account screen name – casey o marie – and not George Anthony’s that logged in just before the fool proof suffocation search.

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The same AIM account was allegedly used to chat on the computer at 7:56 a.m., and was logged in at the same time of other Casey-related Mozilla Firefox browsing session on that day.

The AIM account evidence was allegedly yet another detail that Baez reportedly planned to pin on George Anthony, citing it as "concrete proof" it was him and not Casey Anthony doing the foolproof suffocation search that afternoon.

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"It shows you a state of mind that is present on the actual afternoon that the child died," claimed Humphrey about the alleged search.

However, the prosecution had no idea that those webpages were even allegedly visited that day, which perplexes Baez more than anyone else.

"Why they didn't bring it up or how it happened, you would have to ask them about it," he told  WKMG-TV. "I don't understand how nobody ever knew about this evidence.

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"We were keeping it close to the vest and ready to counter punch in the trial and it never came up."

In his book, Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story, Baez "claimed he had concrete proof it was George and not Casey on the computer doing that search, and that it actually occurred an hour earlier," reported Tony Pipitone, who promised more details in a report on Wednesday on "how the evidence points to it being Casey."

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As has previously reported, Casey was acquitted of charges of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse in the 2008 death of two-year-old Caylee, when a Florida jury found her not guilty in July 2011.


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