An FBI forensic expert testified at the Casey Anthony murder trial on Saturday that a hair found in the Anthony’s car was consistent with hair from a dead body.
Karen Korsberg Lowe told jurors that the 9-inch light brown strand of hair she examined showed post mortem root banding, meaning it came from a deceased body, not a live one.
"It has a darkened band at the root portion of the hair ... this is consistent with apparent decomposition," said Lowe, who has worked at the FBI for 15 years.
Lowe, who specializes in microscopic hair examinations, said the single hair was similar to one pulled from Caylee Anthony's hair brush and was not similar to a hair sample of Casey Anthony's.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Jose Baez questioned the reliability of the hair evidence. Lowe admitted that hair microscopic examinations cannot positively link a hair sample to a certain individual and that a DNA test would be used to do that.
Casey Anthony is being charged for first degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. If convicted, the Florida mom could face the death penalty.
Prosecutors believe that the trunk of 25-year-old Anthony’s car is where the little girl was decomposing after her mother used chloroform to knock out Caylee and put duct tape over her nose and mouth, thereby suffocating the toddler.
Crime Scene Investigator Geraldo Bloise testified Friday that he smelled human decomposition when he opened the driver’s side door to Casey’s Pontiac Sunfire.
"Professionally speaking, my opinion was that it was the smell of human decomposition," Bloise told jurors Friday.
Several other witnesses have also testified that they smelled a foul odor from Casey Anthony’s car after the toddler went missing.
Casey's father, George Anthony, and the tow yard manager had testified earlier in the trial that they smelled human decomposition from the trunk of the car on July 15, 2008. When Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, called a 911 dispatcher to report Caylee missing that same day, she said the car smelled "like there's been a dead body" inside. Lee Anthony, Casey's brother, also told the court he smelled an "offensive" smell coming from his sister's car when he visited the Anthony home on July 15, 2008.
The defense claims that Casey Anthony did not kill her daughter but that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool on June 16, 2008, and that Casey’s father sexually abused Casey and helped cover up Caylee's death.
Cindy Anthony has testified that the pool was too high for the toddler to reach by herself. The ladder leading up to the pool was removed after Caylee was done swimming in the pool, she said.
Jurors on Friday heard jailhouse tapes where Casey Anthony is shown responding sarcastically to her mother’s account about the media reporting the possibility that Caylee drowned in the family pool.
"I'm not doing well ... Lee's [Casey Anthony's brother] been sick ... Dad's blowing up at the media ... somebody just said that Caylee's dead, she drowned in the family pool," said Cindy Anthony in a jailhouse conversation on Aug. 14, 2008.
“Surprise, surprise,” Casey Anthony said of the rumor.