The body of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony spent days in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car before being moved to the woods where it remained for many months, a forensic entomologist testified in the murder trial Saturday.
Dr. Neal Haskell said he found flies associated with decomposition on paper towels that were found in the garbage bag in Anthony’s trunk. The tiny flies were attracted to the decomposition fluid on the paper towels, according to Haskell, who estimated that the body remained in the car for up to five days.
Haskell said the evidence was consistent with a body being partially decomposed before dumped in the woods, where it remained for “many, many months.” He also testified that more of the same tiny flies – or “coffin flies” – were found around Caylee's skeleton in the woods dump site.
Defense attorney Jose Baez asked Haskell whether decomposing food could have also attracted the flies. Haskell said the empty pizza box, empty soda cans and other items in the trash bag would not have attracted the flies.
A land surveyor also took the witness stand on Saturday, showing jurors a 3-D animation of the area where Caylee's skeletal remains were found.
Casey Anthony is being charged with first degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee. If convicted, Anthony could face the death penalty.
Prosecutors say that the 25-year-old Florida mom killed the toddler on June 16, 2008, by knocking her out with chloroform and placing duct tape around her nose and mouth, then placing her body in garbage bags in the car trunk before dumping the body in the woods.
The toddler’s remains were found in December 2008 in the wooded area off Suburban Drive near the Anthony home.
The defense claims that Caylee Anthony died in an accidental drowning in the family swimming pool and that Casey’s father, George Anthony, helped cover up the death. George Anthony has denied those claims.
Testimony in the murder case resumes Monday.