By KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. – Cindy Anthony said in a television interview that daughter Casey Anthony has a history of seizures, but she is not sure if the condition had anything to do with Caylee Anthony’s disappearance in 2008.
The disclosure came during an interview with “Dr. Phil” host Phil McGraw that aired Tuesday.
Cindy and her husband George Anthony spoke with McGraw for a lengthy, taped interview. Another portion of the interview is scheduled to air Wednesday and a part devoted to their daughter’s murder trial also will be shown later this month.
Cindy Anthony said that Casey also had a seizure in 2007 and another in 2008 while out on bond following her initial arrest on check fraud charges. She said she is unsure if that condition contributed to her lying to her family and authorities regarding her 2-year-daughter’s whereabouts in mid-2008.
“I’m not making justification for (Casey’s lies), but there’s a cause for that,” Cindy Anthony told McGraw. “You just don’t have a grand mal seizure.”
Casey Anthony’s defense attorneys never raised the issue at trial, though late in the case did ask the judge to have doctors examine her to determine if she was mentally fit to stand trial. Three experts ruled her fit and the trial resumed. The reports from their examination were sealed.
Calls by The Associated Press to Anthony’s lead attorney, Jose Baez, were not immediately returned.
The toddler was the focus of a wide-ranging search after her disappearance in June 2008. Casey Anthony told police that a fictitious babysitter had kidnapped the child. The 25-year-old maintained the same story to her family until the child’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area in December 2008 not far from the Anthony family home.
Casey Anthony was acquitted of killing Caylee in July, but convicted of four charges of lying to police.
She is currently somewhere in Florida serving a year of probation on a separate check fraud conviction. Authorities are keeping her whereabouts confidential for her safety.
Anthony’s acquittal caused a national uproar, with people protesting their displeasure with the verdict both publicly and through social media. It caused so much of a stir that the judge in the case has instituted a cooling-off period before he releases the names of jurors publicly.
The portion of the interview that aired Tuesday centered on what was taking place in the Anthony family before and immediately after they found out from their daughter in July 2008 that Caylee had been missing for a month. McGraw asked them why no red flags were raised in their minds during that time.
“There’s hindsight yes, but not in those 31 days,” Cindy Anthony said. “… I knew what I know now I would have called the Army, the Navy, anybody.”
But McGraw did ask Anthony’s parents directly if they thought Casey was responsible for their granddaughter’s death. Both said they thought it was strange how calm Casey was when she told them Caylee was missing.
“Well, the last one I saw Caylee with was Casey…In my book, one and one adds up to two,” George Anthony said.
He added that as Caylee’s mother, his daughter was ultimately responsible for her and that while she was in jail that “I didn’t believe 2/3 of what she was telling me. I thought she was keeping her away from Cindy.”
The Anthony’s were not paid for the interview, but McGraw said that the show is making a donation to a charity begun in Caylee’s name to support grandparents’ rights and missing and abused children.
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