Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of murdering her daughter, has told friends, family, and the police that two-year-old Caylee was with her nanny named Zanny, short for Zenaida Gonzalez, and that it was Zanny who kidnapped Caylee Anthony.
But on Thursday, the real woman named Zenaida Gonzalez appeared before the courtroom to testify that she has never met Casey or her toddler Caylee. She had, in fact, no connection whatsoever to the Anthony family, she said on Day 8 of the Casey Anthony murder trial.
Gonzalez said her life “has been horrible” since news broke out that a woman by her name was accused of kidnapping a two-year-old. Casey had told detectives that Zanny the nanny had taken her daughter.
“It is not so much because they know my face; it is more or less because they know my name,” said Gonzalez. “And since they know my name, everywhere I go, they are insinuating that I did something wrong because my name is so much in the news.”
She claims that she has not been able to get a job because people suspect that she kidnapped Caylee.
25-year-old Casey Anthony is accused of first degree murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee. The toddler was last seen on June 16, 2008. Her remains were found six months later near the Anthony house with duct tape wrapped around the nose and mouth.
The prosecution claims that Casey used chloroform to knock Caylee unconscious and then used duct tape to suffocate her. But the defense claims that Caylee died on June 16, 2008 in a drowning accident in the family’s pool and that George Anthony, Casey’s father, knew about it and helped dispose the body.
George has testified that he did not find Caylee’s body in the pool.
During Thursday’s hearing, the courtroom heard the nearly 1-hour tape of the interview between Casey and the detectives on July 16, 2008 – the day after Caylee was reported missing.
Detective Yuri Melich testified that by the time of the interview she knew that Zenaida Frenandez-Gonzalez had never lived in the apartment complex that Casey claimed.
Also on Thursday, Jeff Hopkins disputed Casey’s claim that he was her ex-boyfriend who introduced her to nanny Zenaida. Hopkins said he was an acquaintance of Casey from middle school and that he worked at Universal Studios, as Casey said, but that was back in 2001-2002. Casey had not worked at Universal Studios since 2006, even though she kept telling friends and family that she worked there.
There were parts of Casey’s tale about Zanny, however, that had some connection to the truth. Gonzalez said she did visit Sawgrass Apartments on June 17, 2008 to ask about leasing a room. That day, she filled out a card requesting more information, but never lived there.
Gonzalez has hired an attorney to sue Casey Anthony for defamation of character. That trial is scheduled for February 13, 2012.
Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, claims that the Zenaida Gonzalez in the courtroom is the wrong one, and that there are nine others by the same name in the area.
Casey could face the death penalty if she is convicted of killing her daughter.