Family of missing child has Valley ties

By Jordan Cohen

The mother is suspected; the grandmother believes in her innocence.

The grandparents of a 2-year-old Orlando, Fla., girl who is missing and feared dead are former Trumbull County residents, as is their daughter, who is suspected in the child’s disappearance.

The disappearance has been covered extensively by the national media.

George Anthony, 56, and his wife Cindy, 50, lived in Howland before moving to Florida in 1989. The Anthonys also have a son, Lee, who also was born in Warren.

Anthony was a Trumbull detective from 1974 until 1985 and left the sheriff’s department at that time.

Their daughter, Casey Anthony, who was born in Warren in 1986, is suspected of involvement in the disappearance of her daughter, Caylee Marie, who has been missing for more than a month. She is in the Orange County jail in lieu of $500,000 bond and is charged with child neglect, but police suspect foul play. She also is charged with making false official statements and obstructing a criminal investigation, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Officers said the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car smelled as if a decomposed body had been inside, and a dog trained to smell for cadavers also led police to the trunk.

The grandparents were unaware of Caylee’s lengthy disappearance because their daughter had said nothing, according to Cindy Anthony.

Police first became aware of the missing child as a result of a 911 call made by the frantic grandmother after her daughter admitted she hadn’t seen Caylee for a month.

In the first call, Cindy asked police to arrest her daughter, but made a later 911 call to say she learned that the child had disappeared after “she’d been dropped off with a baby sitter.” Thus far, police have been unable to confirm the existence of the baby sitter, even though Caylee’s mother gave them a name.

Still, Cindy Anthony told The Vindicator on Saturday she believes her daughter is innocent.

“They’re not listening to [Casey], and they don’t believe that she refuses to talk because she is afraid that someone will harm our granddaughter or another member of the family,” Cindy Anthony said.

She also appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and other national news programs and has been outspoken on behalf of her daughter’s innocence.

“People want to focus on my daughter instead of finding her beautiful little girl,” the grandmother said. “I do believe she’s alive and am absolutely convinced that my daughter is innocent.”

Trumbull Sheriff Tom Altiere worked with George Anthony when both were in the detective division from 1974 to 1983. He has been following the case closely.

“George was a great detective and a good guy,” Altiere said. “I knew the Anthonys well, and I’m really sick about what’s happened to them.”

Altiere said he has not spoken with his former fellow deputy, but hopes to reach out to him.

Anthony once dabbled in politics. In the 1980s, he ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for Trumbull Clerk of Courts.

His granddaughter’s third birthday is Aug. 9.

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