I'm sure you have seen all over the news that the remains found in Florida have been positively identified as toddler Caylee Anthony, who has been missing since early summer.
Her young mother, Casey Anthony, is in jail, awaiting trial for her murder - she was charged before the body was found.
Her story has been making the rounds of the nightly news and talk shows (particularly Nancy Grace) for months and I've always 'known' the child was dead but it's still a sickening jolt of reality to see it plastered all over the internet.
The mother, Casey, had been leading a strange and double life for a couple of years. She pretended to work at a theme park and did not, and pretended to have a nanny for her daughter - but did not. No-one knows where the child was when supposedly with the nanny. I would assume she was alone in an apartment. Still unknown is where Casey Anthony got her money from but she did steal from many family and friends and had the support of boyfriends. Other sources of income are yet unknown.
The child allegedly died from chloroform poisoning. Searches for this product were found on Casey's computer; physical evidence of chloroform was found on Casey Anthony's property.
Did she kill her child deliberately? Maybe we will never know. She has weaved a tangled web around her for years.
What is suggested that happened is that, based on her texts, she was fed up with caring for her toddler and wanted her to stop being needy and to be quiet. She knew chloroform can temporarily sedate a person and used it for that purpose - to temporarily keep the child unconscious so she could go out for several hours with the child 'sleeping'. It is suggested she came back and found the child dead. And went into a kind of dissociative state. But not so dissociative that she couldn't cover her tracks.
She is seen buying beer, using stolen checks and competing in "Am I hot?" parties at night clubs - after the death of the child.
Ultimately, 30 days later, she reported the child missing to her parents, who reported it to police.
The situation is so bizarre, it's hard to contemplate. A tragic fact is that parents kill their children every day in this country.
Why? To regain their freedom? So they can party? Hang out? Cash in?
TV pundits have their opinions, so do the psychologists and lawyers they have on their panels. And yet we still have to ask why.
In this season of goodwill, we want to hug our kids a bit tighter and a bit longer. My compassion goes out to this child's grandparents who surely will now cooperate with police and admit that their grandchild, found a mere block from their home, was killed at the hands of their daughter. Their sadness must be huge.
And to the young child, with a life in front of her, the sheer magnitude of what was done to her is incalculable. To express how wrong this all is, is almost futile. I have a daughter her age. I'm unable to even contemplate how she must have felt and how I wish I could have taken her in my arms and away from harm.
Approximately 1500 children die every year at the hands of their parents. The vast majority of us will do anything to protect our kids - from anyone and anything. I remember a friend and I talking about the over-whelming power of motherhood. How in an instant, not only would you walk in front of a train to protect your child - you'd do it with a smile on your face. It's instinctual, it's habitual; it's in our DNA.
Why not these parents?
Clint Van Zandt, a former FRI profiler, and highly experienced criminologist, has some insight for us here :
What are your thoughts on the Caylee Anthony story?
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