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BREAKING: Child's skull found near Caylee Anthony's Grandparents Home
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12/11/2008 03:33 PM
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[link to www.cnn.com]
ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) -- Remains described as being those of a small child were found Thursday near the home of missing toddler Caylee Anthony's grandparents, a spokesman for the Orange County, Florida, sheriff's office said.
Investigators stand near the area where the skeletal remains were found Thursday.
1 of 2 The discovery was made about 9:30 a.m. by a utility worker who alerted authorities, spokesman Jim Solomons said. Investigators, including those from the Anthony case, were on the scene, he said.
The remains will be sent to the FBI lab at Quantico, Virginia, Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary said.
The agency has told its lab analysts that the case is top priority, Beary added. "If they have to work through the weekend, they'll work through the weekend."
"Bottom line, it's real simple, folks," Beary said. "We've recovered this human skull, it appears to be that of a small child, and now the investigation continues. We've got a lot of lab work to do, a lot of DNA work to do, a lot of crime scene work to do. We could be here all night." Watch the sheriff talk about what needs to be done »
Prosecutors have asked police not to disclose many details surrounding the discovery, Beary said.
The area where the remains were found had been searched as part of the investigation into Caylee's disappearance, he said. But the precise spot where a county meter reader found them -- "45, 50, 60 feet back" from the street -- was flooded at the time of the search.
No clothes were found with the remains, Beary said.
Asked whether the remains could belong to another child, Beary said, "Not that we know of, but that's always a possibility, and that's why we've got a lot of work to do on this case still."
Earlier, authorities said the Anthony family had been notified of the discovery. The remains were found "in very close proximity" to the Anthony home, Solomons said.
Caylee Anthony, 3, has been missing since June in a case that has received national attention. Her 22-year-old mother, Casey Anthony, was arrested last month and faces charges including first-degree murder in the child's disappearance.
CNN affiliate WFTV reported that the utility worker picked up a bag at the site and a skull fell out. Watch investigators converge on the scene »
In a court hearing earlier Thursday, 9th Circuit Judge Stan Strickland postponed Casey Anthony's trial at the request of defense attorney Jose Baez. The attorney said he had not received all the evidence due him from prosecutors and was not ready to proceed with the January 5 trial.
Baez asked Strickland whether the trial could be delayed until March. The judge scheduled a hearing January 15 to consider a new trial date as well as a possible change of venue.
WESH: Remains found in sealed plastic bag
WFTV: See where the remains were found
CF13: Minute-to-minute update
Prosecutors said this month that they would not seek the death penalty against Casey Anthony. If convicted of murder, she could be sentenced to life in prison.
Authorities have said Casey Anthony waited about a month before telling her family that Caylee was gone. Cindy Anthony -- Caylee's grandmother and Casey Anthony's mother -- called the Orange County sheriff's office July 15, saying her daughter would not tell her where Caylee was.
When questioned, Casey Anthony gave conflicting statements to police, including some that were later disproved, according to hundreds of documents and investigative reports released in the case.
She claimed that she dropped Caylee off with a baby-sitter, but when police checked out her story, they learned that the address Casey Anthony supplied belonged to an apartment that had been vacant for weeks. The woman Casey Anthony named as her baby-sitter told police she did not know her.
Investigators have said that cadaver dogs picked up the scent of death in Anthony's car, as well as in her parents' backyard. They also said air quality tests conducted by the FBI found evidence consistent with human decomposition and chloroform in the car's trunk. A neighbor told police Anthony had asked to borrow a shovel.
Also, an analysis of Anthony's computer found that she had visited Web sites discussing chloroform and had done Internet searches on missing children, according to information released in the case.
"There isn't a motive, and they haven't found a motive," Cindy Anthony said Wednesday night on CNN's "Larry King Live." Watch Cindy Anthony insist her daughter is innocent »
She added, "They told us they thought it was an accident, and she's scared and tried to cover it up. They don't feel there's a motive."
Cindy Anthony stressed that five searches for the girl's body have "come up with nothing. There's nothing that they have found that, you know, has given them any evidence that Caylee is no longer with us."
The Anthonys said they believe that the girl is still alive and that someone has her, noting several reports of sightings.
Last month, Strickland denied prosecutors' request to impose a gag order in Anthony's case, saying he could not state that continued publicity would pose a threat to her trial or even that a gag order would stem the flood of media attention.
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12/11/2008 03:34 PM
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