Caylee Marie Anthony (August 9, 2005 – June 16, 2008) was a two-year-old girl reported missing in Orlando, Florida in July 2008, whose remains were found in a wooded area near her home in December 2008. Her 22-year-old mother, Casey Anthony, was acquitted of first degree murder, but convicted of lying to police officers, in a televised trial in the summer of 2011 that was described by Time magazine as "the social media trial of the century".
Casey and Caylee lived with George and Cindy Anthony, the maternal grandparents. On July 15, 2008, Caylee was reported missing to 9-1-1 by Cindy, who said she had not seen Caylee for 31 days and that Casey's car smelled like a dead body had been inside of it. She said Casey had given varied explanations as to Caylee's whereabouts and finally admitted that day that she had not seen her daughter for weeks. Casey fabricated various stories, including telling detectives the child had been kidnapped by a fictitious nanny on June 9, and that she had been trying to find her, too frightened to alert the authorities. With the child still missing, Casey was charged with first degree murder in October and plead not guilty. On December 11, Caylee's skeletal remains were found with a blanket inside a trash bag in a wooded area near the family home. Investigative reports and trial testimony altered between duct tape being found near the front of the skull and on the mouth of the skull. The medical examiner mentioned duct tape as one reason she ruled the death a homicide, but officially listed it as "death by undetermined means".
The trial lasted six weeks, from May to July 2011. The prosecution sought the death penalty and alleged Casey murdered her daughter by administering chloroform, then applying duct tape, because she wanted her freedom. The defense team, led by Jose Baez, countered that the child had drowned accidentally in the family's swimming pool on June 16, 2008, and that Casey lied about this and other issues because of a dysfunctional upbringing, which they said included sexual abuse by her father. The defense did not present evidence as to how Caylee died, nor evidence that Casey was sexually abused as a child, but challenged every piece of the prosecution's evidence, calling much of it "fantasy forensics". Casey did not testify during the trial.