Published November 27, 2012
Casey Anthony's former lead attorney Jose Baez says newly discovered Google searches found on the Anthony family computer, including for "fool-proof" suffocation methods on the day her daughter Caylee was last seen alive, were suicide related.
"What's being reported about these searches is completely false," Baez said in an interview on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning. "These were suicide related searches."
Baez said there was "no indication" that Casey had run the searches and suggested it was her father, George Anthony, who conducted the search. Anthony's attorneys argued during trial that Casey Anthony helped her father, George, cover up the girl's drowning in the family pool.
"He actually attempted suicide several months later," he said. "Casey Anthony never contemplated or attempted suicide."
Baez, who was brought into the national spotlight for representing Anthony during the trial, said he doesn't get into "what if's," and that the case still is marred "in a lot speculation."
Law enforcement officials said Sunday they missed evidence that someone in the Anthony home did a Google search for "fool-proof" suffocation methods on the day Caylee was last seen alive.
Orange County Sheriff's Department Capt. Angelo Nieves said Sunday that the office's computer investigator missed the June 16, 2008, search. The agency's admission 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, who was acquitted of the girl's murder in 2011.
WKMG reports that sheriff's investigators pulled 17 vague entries only from the computer's Internet Explorer browser, not the Mozilla Firefox browser commonly used by Casey Anthony. More than 1,200 Firefox entries, including the suffocation search, were overlooked.
"That's not true," Baez said to Fox & Friends. "There are other searches that they recovered from the Mozilla Firefox that was on that computer, to say that they didn't search or completely forgot their was a Firefox on the computer is completely inaccurate."
Baez said instead that investigators knew of all computer and Internet activity and that this particular information about the "suffocation search" hurt the prosecution's timeline and case against Casey.
Whoever conducted the Google search looked for the term "fool-proof suffication," misspelling "suffocation," and then clicked on an article about suicide that discussed taking poison and putting a bag over one's head.
The browser then recorded activity on the social networking site MySpace, which was used by Casey Anthony but not her father.
A computer expert for Anthony's defense team found the search before the trial.
Prosecutors had argued Caylee was poisoned with chloroform and then suffocated by duct tape placed over her mouth and nose. The girl's body was found six months after she disappeared in a field near the family home and was too decomposed for an exact cause of death to be determined.
Prosecutors presented evidence that someone in the Anthony home searched online for how to make chloroform, but Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy, claimed on the witness stand that she had done the searches by mistake while looking up information about chlorophyll.
Prosecutors Linda Drane Burdick and Jeff Ashton didn't respond to emails from The Associated Press on Sunday.
But Ashton told WKMG that "it's just a shame we didn't have it. This certainly would have put the accidental death claim in serious question."
Baez told WKMG that he expected prosecutors to bring up the search at trial.
"When they didn't, we were kind of shocked," said Baez.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.