meter reader called in tips aug 11, 12, 13

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meter reader called in tips aug 11, 12, 13

Post by oviedo45 on Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:01 pm,0,397634.story

Could the search for Caylee Marie Anthony have ended months ago?

Bianca Prieto, Sarah Lundy and Amy L. Edwards | Sentinel Staff Writers
9:57 PM EST, December 18, 2008

Could the search for Caylee Marie have ended months ago?

An Orange County utilities worker tried three times in August to alert law enforcement of a strange gray bag on the side of Suburban Drive near the home of missing Caylee Marie Anthony, a sheriff's official said Thursday.

Three times, deputy sheriffs checked the tips with no results. When curiosity led the same utility worker back to the same spot last week, he found the remains of a small child.

Now, the Orange County Sheriff's Office is trying to figure out what happened four months ago and how its deputies handled the calls. The tipster, who has not been publicly identified, is not considered a suspect and has been cooperating with deputies, officials said.
"We are attempting to be as thorough, as clear and as concise as possible with the information that we received. There was a window of opportunity, possibly ..." Capt. Angelo Nieves said. "We had a deputy respond to this location."

The meter reader "provided several phone calls to our Crimeline as well as our communications center," the captain added during a late afternoon press conference. "We are currently following up on that sequence to determine the thoroughness of the response here to the scene."

Authorities have yet to identify the remains -- found scattered over an acre of thick woods -- but many suspect they belong to Caylee, the Orange County 2-year-old reported missing in mid-July.

A week into evidence collection at the site, a short walk from the child's home, more "significant" bones were unearthed Thursday, Nieves said. Officials said the new discovery would require additional work and that crime-scene technicians may not clear the scene until Saturday afternoon.

Caylee's mother, 22-year-old Casey Anthony, was indicted in October on first-degree murder and other charges. She claims not to have seen the child since handing her over to a baby sitter in mid-June.

3 days, 3 calls

A sheriff's official offered this outline of the three tips by the utility worker in August:

-- On Aug. 11, the meter reader called the sheriff's office communication center to report a bag on the "right side" of the road near the intersection of Suburban and Hopespring drives. The meter reader was not there when a deputy arrived. The officer cleared the scene.

-- On Aug. 12, the worker called Crimeline, which collect tips on unsolved crimes. That information was documented and sent to a detective, who made a note that the area had been searched by a cadaver dog and the tip was closed out.

-- On Aug. 13, after the worker called the communication center again, two deputies responded to the area -- each arriving separately -- and they met with the meter reader. At least one deputy checked the woods and cleared the scene for a second time.

"We will conduct an administrative follow-up to try to determine what occurred with the deputy when he responded out to the scene, why he handled himself how he did," Nieves said.Photos, but no comment

Also Thursday, the Sheriff's Office released 173 photos of the crime scene. The pictures include several aerial shots of the crime scene, the dense woods at dusk, and one photo that appears to show packaging or a book lying among the foliage.

One of the last known videos of Caylee shows her reading a similar-looking book at a table.

The Sheriff's Office would not discuss the photos or their significance.

Earlier this week, Casey Anthony's attorney, Josť Baez, asked a judge to let him see photos of the area being searched for evidence. Sheriff's officials agreed they would release some, but not all, of the photos.

Baez insisted that he needed access to the photos because he was not being allowed to watch the work under way at the crime scene. He said the area had been altered substantially since the remains were found.

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Re: meter reader called in tips aug 11, 12, 13

Post by oviedo45 on Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:26 pm

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now,
December 11 is when the utility worker said that he found the bag with
the skull in it. And he said that -- and apparently, last night, you
found out that in three times in August, he called in tips and sent you
to this very area?

That's correct. In talking to him and continuing to process the scene
and doing follow-up with the tipster, with the meter reader employee,
he advised that he had also called back on August 11, 12 and 13. We
went back and looked at that information and trying to decipher what
occurred, what was the response by our responding deputies and our
criminal investigations division, as well as the response actually on
the 13th, when he actually stayed around and met with one of the
workers -- one of our deputies.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he say he saw something in particular in August on those three calls?

Yes, one of things was, was a gray bag that he called in along the road
or along a fence. And we then went out there, conducted our follow-up,
but he was not there. It was probably, as we handle hundreds of these
calls, where someone calls in, he makes a complaint or gives us a tip,
and they're not necessarily there to meet a deputy, and that is what
occurred on the first instance.

On the second,
he called our Crimeline tip line, reported the information, and that
information was then turned over to our Criminal Investigations
Division for follow-up. At that time, we were still looking into the
circumstances of what occurred. That tip was closed out with the
information that some of the area had been already searched. But this
is a large area, a long streets, also, with a lot of wooded area. We
had done follow-up at the end of that cul-de-sac, as well, because we
had received previous reports.

VAN SUSTEREN: So do you not find it really bizarre that on December 11, he's the one who makes the discovery?

Well, again, we have a situation where we're following up on that. He's
credible. The information that we have is -- we have a lot of attention
on this case that's gone on locally and nationally, as you know. So he
is someone that remained determined.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is he a suspect or a person of interest, or -- I mean, are you -- or have you cleared him?

Yes. Absolutely not. I mean, he provided this information as we were
interviewing him, obtaining additional information. He provided the
information that he had called previously. So we followed up on that,
and that's where we are currently, trying to conduct an administrative
review of the situation, and especially what happened out on those
three days that he called, and on August 13, when he met with the
deputy. We're trying to determine the thoroughness of the deputy. Where
was he? Where did he look? And what area was pointed out?

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you confident this meter reader does not know Casey Anthony?

All of the information we've received from our investigators is we're
confident that, again, this is a credible employee, provided us the
information at the time of the discovery, and we're continuing to do a

that mean that you're -- I mean, you're not saying emphatically or with
certainty that he doesn't know Casey Anthony. You just don't have
anything right now to tie them together.

Yes. We -- everything that has been presented to me regarding our
investigation so far is that, yes, he has nothing to do with Casey or
the investigation, except for the fact that he was persistent. He was a
concerned citizen, as we have received many calls from individuals who
have called repeatedly regarding something that they see or something
that's suspicious, and that was the case in this instance.

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