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."
Caylee was reported missing on July 15, 2008 by her maternal grandmother, Cindy Anthony, who told the emergency dispatcher she had not seen the child for 31 days, and that Casey's car smelled as though there had been a dead body inside it. Although the mother and child lived with the grandparents, the grandmother said Casey had taken the child away for a few weeks, on what was alternately described as a business trip or holiday. It was not until July 15, she said, that Casey had admitted she had not seen her daughter for weeks.
Casey at first told detectives the child had been kidnapped by her nanny on June 9, and that she had spent the time since then trying to find her, too frightened to alert the authorities. It was soon discovered that the child had no nanny, and this became one of a series of stories Casey was forced to admit she had fabricated. With the child still missing, Casey was charged with first degree murder in October, pleading not guilty. Two months later, on December 11, the child's skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near the family home, wrapped in a blanket and hidden inside two bags. The police reported there was duct tape attached to the skull, which the prosecution later alleged had been wrapped around the child's nose and mouth before she died, making it the murder weapon. The prosecution, led by Linda Drane Burdick, sought the death penalty.