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Sheriff's Office Confirms Casey Anthony Case Investigators Missed Evidence of Google Searches for 'Fool-Proof' Suffocation


"We were waiting for the state to bring it up. And when they didn't, we were kind of shocked."

ORLANDO, Fla. (TheBlaze/AP) -- The Florida sheriff's office that investigated Caylee Anthony's death confirmed Sunday that it overlooked a computer search for suffocation methods made from the little girl's home on the day she was last seen alive.

Orange County sheriff's Capt. Angelo Nieves said the office's computer investigator missed a June 16, 2008, Google search for "fool-proof" suffocation methods. The agency's admission was first reported by Orlando television station WKMG. It's not known who performed the search. The station reported it was done on a browser primarily used by the 2-year-old's mother, Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of the girl's murder in 2011.

Casey Anthony (C) leaves with her attorney Jose Baez (R) from the Booking and Release Center at the Orange County Jail July 17, 2011. (Photo: Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images)

Anthony's attorneys argued during trial that Casey Anthony helped her father, George Anthony, cover up the girl's drowning in the family pool.

WKMG said sheriff's investigators pulled 17 vague entries only from the computer's Internet Explorer browser, not the Mozilla Firefox browser commonly used by Casey Anthony. More than 1,200 Firefox entries, including the suffocation search, were overlooked.

Whoever conducted the Google search looked for the term "fool-proof suffication," misspelling "suffocation," and then clicked on an article about suicide that discussed taking poison and putting a bag over one's head.

The browser then recorded activity on the social networking site MySpace, which was used by Casey Anthony but not her father.

A computer expert for Anthony's defense team found the search before the trial. Her lead attorney, Jose Baez, first mentioned the search in his book about the case but suggested it was George Anthony who conducted the search after Caylee drowned because he wanted to kill himself.

Baez talks about his book Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story earlier this year. (Photo: AP/Wilfredo Lee

"We were waiting for the state to bring it up," Baez told WKMG. "And when they didn't, we were kind of shocked."

"I really believed that [the prosecutors] were going to sandbag us with it," Baez is reported as saying later in WKMG's report.

Baez, who no longer represents Anthony, didn't respond to AP's request for comment nor did attorney Cheney Mason, who was also on the trial team. Mason's office answering service refused to take a phone message.

Not knowing about the computer search, prosecutors had argued Caylee was poisoned with chloroform and then suffocated by duct tape placed over her mouth and nose. The girl's body was found six months after she disappeared in a field near the family home and was too decomposed for an exact cause of death to be determined.

Many jurors apparently went into hiding amid public outrage over the verdict and refused to comment, but two have said prosecutors couldn't conclusively prove how Caylee died.

Prosecutors Linda Drane Burdick and Jeff Ashton didn't respond to emails from The Associated Press on Sunday.

But Ashton told WKMG that "it's just a shame we didn't have it. This certainly would have put the accidental death claim in serious question."

The sheriff's office didn't consult the FBI or Florida Department of Law Enforcement for help searching the computer in the Anthony case, a mistake investigators have learned from, Nieves said.

Watch this report about this new information:


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