The case against Casey Anthony is building with the testimony of the foremost expert on human decay odor science, who basically said he can’t think of anything other than a dead body that would produce the level of a particular chemical found in air and carpet samples collected from the trunk of Anthony’s car.
The amount of the chemical chloroform, which is found during human decomposition and is also used to knock a person unconscious, in the sample was nearly 10,000 times that found in normal human decay, said Dr. Arpad Vass, a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, on Monday. Inhaling too much chloroform can also kill someone.
Vass is a top expert in the field of human decomposition odor analysis. He has studied human decay for 20 years.
Prosecutors claim the test proves that Caylee, the two-year-old daughter that Casey is accused of murdering, was dead and her body was in her mother’s car trunk.
“I can find no other plausible explanation other than that to explain all the results we found,” said Vass.
Casey Anthony, 25, is accused of first degree murder of her daughter Caylee on June 16, 2008. If convicted, the Florida mom could face the death penalty.
The prosecution claims that Casey used chloroform to knock Caylee unconscious and then wrapped three pieces of duct tape around her nose and mouth to suffocate her. They also accuse Casey of driving her car with Caylee’s dead body in the trunk for days before disposing her daughter’s body in a swamp near her parent’s house.
Meanwhile, the defense claims Caylee died in a pool accident and George, Casey’s father, helped Casey to dispose of the body. George has denied that he found Caylee’s dead body in the pool.
Vass also said that he is capable of distinguishing the smell of human decomposition compared to dead animals.
“I recognized it as human decomposition odor,” said Vass about the smell he inhaled when he opened the can containing the sample.
“Animals tend to have a more muskier scent. Domesticated animals like a pig have a much sweeter scent than humans,” Vass explained.
Defense attorney Jose Baez asked Vass whether the fatty acids detected in Casey’s car trunk could be from meat. But the top scientist said it unlikely, and if it did it would have to come from a mammal with high fat content and left in the trunk to decompose.