A private investigator testified on Monday at the Casey Anthony murder trial that a psychic directed him to the wooded area where the remains of Ms. Anthony’s two-year-old daughter were found a month later.
But he said he saw nothing that looked like the remains of the toddler, Caylee.
Dominic Casey said he was working for Ms. Anthony’s parents, George and Cindy, in November 2008, trying to track down leads about the possible whereabouts of Caylee. He had also done prior work as an investigator for Ms. Anthony’s defense attorney, Jose Baez.
Mr. Casey told the jury that he went to the wooded area not far from the Anthony home after being contacted by a psychic who advised him that Caylee’s remains were in the vicinity of three white paving stones.
He went three times to the area on Nov. 15 and 16 and appears to have walked directly over the place the body was later found on Dec. 11.
Earlier on Monday, James Hoover, an investigator who worked with Mr. Casey, narrated a video he took of the private investigator walking through the woods and using a metal probe to search for buried remains. No remains were found.
At one point, defense attorney Baez asked Mr. Hoover: “Did you just see that fallen tree that was there?”
“I see the paver that we were looking for,” he answered, watching the video. Then he added: “Oh yeah, it is right there on the video.”
It is unclear whether the video recorded the same fallen tree that Orange County Sheriff’s Office crime scene investigators have repeatedly mentioned – and at one point moved – to gain better access to some of Caylee’s remains in mid-December.
The video and related testimony is potentially significant to the defense case because it seems to support a defense theory that Caylee’s remains were placed in the wooded area much later than prosecutors have said.
In November 2008, Casey Anthony was already in jail having been charged with the murder of her daughter. Mr. Baez is hoping Monday’s testimony raises questions in the minds of the jurors. If Caylee’s remains were not in the wooded area in mid-November, where were they? More important, if they were moved, who moved them to the woods where they were discovered in mid-December?
Baez has suggested that Roy Kronk, the man who directed police to the wooded area on Dec. 11, may have moved or hidden the body. Mr. Kronk had initially called police about the body in August, but investigators ignored the tip because the area had already been searched by a deputy with a cadaver dog.
The developments came on the 10th day of the defense case and the 29th day of the trial underway in an Orlando courtroom.
Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the disappearance and death of her daughter. If convicted she faces a possible death sentence.
Also on Monday, Chief Judge Belvin Perry revealed the cause of Saturday’s abrupt and mysterious recess in the trial. He said defense attorneys had moved to have Ms. Anthony declared mentally incompetent.
Judge Perry appointed three psychologists to conduct independent evaluations of Ms. Anthony on Saturday and Sunday. After reviewing their reports, the judge declared the defendant competent to stand trial.
The trial is set to continue on Tuesday morning.