A computer forensic expert testified in the Casey Anthony murder trial Wednesday that she found Internet searches for chloroform on the Anthony family’s computer.
The chemical chloroform can be used to knock someone unconscious, or at very high levels, can kill someone. The prosecution claims that Casey Anthony, 25, used chloroform to render her 2-year-old daughter Caylee unconscious before wrapping three pieces of duct tape around the toddler’s nose and mouth to suffocate her. Moreover, the prosecution claims that Anthony searched online how to make chloroform.
Police computer forensic expert Sandra Osborne testified today that she was able to find Google searches for chloroform on the family’s computer despite the history of those searches being deleted.
But defense attorney Jose Baez challenged Osborne during cross-examination, asking her that since the computer had multiple users if it is possible someone else could have searched for the term chloroform besides Casey.
Osborne affirmed that possibility. She also said that there were searches for Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, whom Anthony claimed to be Caylee’s nanny, on July 16, 2008. Notably, there were no previous searches for that name before that day.
The prosecution team is building up its case against Anthony with a heavy emphasis on the chemical chloroform. On Monday, the foremost expert on human decomposition science, Dr. Arpad Vass, said the amount of chloroform in the air and carpet sample from Anthony’s trunk was nearly 10,000 times that found in normal human decay.
Prosecutors claim the test proves that Caylee’s dead body was in her mother’s car trunk.
Vass affirmed that storyline, “I can find no other plausible explanation other than that to explain all the results we found.”
The top scientist from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee also said the smell from Anthony’s trunk is that of human decay. Vass has studied human decay for 20 years.
Caylee Anthony, the doe-eyed toddler that stole the nation’s heart after family photos were released, died on June 16, 2008. The medical examine ruled it a homicide by undetermined means. Caylee Anthony’s body was found in the woods near the Anthony home nearly six months after she was last seen by her grandparents.
Casey Anthony is accused of first degree murder. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death.
The defense claims that Caylee died in the family’s pool in an accident and that George Anthony, Casey’s father, helped keep the death a secret and helped his daughter dispose of the body.
On Wednesday, a police dog handler, Sgt. Kristin Brewer, also took the stand. She said her dog, Bones, alerted her that there was human decomposition near Caylee’s sandbox playhouse in Anthony’s backyard on July 17, 2008. But when she came back the next day, the dog did not alert her of any decomposition. She said a possible explanation is that crime scene investigators came afterwards and dug up around the playhouse and could have removed whatever was decomposing.