In the upcoming Peacock limited series Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies, Anthony, 36, alleged that George staged Caylee’s drowning in order to cover up that he may have been abusing her.
“I wasn’t feeling that great, and I wanted to lay down,” Anthony recalled about the last day Caylee was seen, which was on June 16, 2008. “I had her lay in bed with me.”
“I was awoken by [my father] shaking me and asking me where Caylee was,” she continued. “That didn’t make sense. She would never even leave my room without telling me. I immediately started looking around the house. I go outside and I’m looking to see where she could be.”
Anthony then claimed that she saw her father holding Caylee. “He was standing there with her,” she said. “She was soaking wet. He handed her to me. Said it was my fault. That I caused it. But he didn’t rush to call 911 and he wasn’t trying to resuscitate her. I collapsed with her in my arms. She was heavy, and she was cold.”
“He takes her from me and he immediately softens his tone and says ‘It’s going to be OK,’” the Florida native continued. “I wanted to believe him. He took her from me and he went away.”
Anthony decided to then stay with her then-boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro. However, she didn’t tell anyone about the incident because she wasn’t under the impression that Caylee was dead.
“During the 31 days, I genuinely believed that Caylee was still alive,” she told cameras. “My father kept telling me she was ok. I had to keep following his instructions. He told me what to do. I tried to act as normal as I could.”
Caylee was last seen alive at her grandparents’ house in Orlando, Florida. Anthony’s mother, Cindy Anthony, reported her granddaughter missing on July 15, 2008, after Anthony told her parents she had not seen Caylee in a month. Investigators later found a bag of human remains in a wooded area about half of a mile from the family’s home on December 19, 2008, which they later determined to be Caylee.
Anthony added she doesn’t believe Caylee drowned in the above-ground pool. “There was no ladder … no way for her to shimmy up,” she said. “There’s no way to explain that, unless [George] put her in the pool to cover up what he did.”
Also in the documentary, Anthony claimed George and her brother, Lee, had sexually abused her. Both men have previously denied the allegations and have never been charged.
She also accused her father of physical abuse in the documentary. “He’d put a pillow over my face and smother me to knock me out,” Anthony alleged. “That happened several times. I’m sure there were times where I was incapacitated as a child where my body was limp and lifeless.”
The photographer admitted she worried George moved on to abusing Caylee once he stopped with her. “That’s what I think about,” she said. “I wish every day I had said something to someone about something. Maybe then things would be different.”
Following a nearly two-month trial, Anthony was found not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child. However, she was found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement and was sentenced to serve four years in prison.
George was pulled into several theories about his granddaughter’s disappearance, while he refuted the claim that she drowned in the family’s swimming pool and was actually never missing.
“I don’t believe (the drowning). That’s a bunch of bull to me,” he said during the finale of 2017’s Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery. “That’s too easy of a story to bring up ‘cause if that would’ve happened, I think my daughter would’ve at least had the common decency or common sense inside to call 911 and say something.”