The murder of Caylee Anthony is still something that stirs up harsh emotions, even years later. Two-year-old Caylee went missing in June 2008, but her mother Casey didn't report the toddler missing until a month later.
Caylee's body was found in December of 2008, but by the time she was discovered, the medical examiner could not determine a cause of death. But it didn't matter what the evidence said, everyone was already convinced that Casey had killed her own daughter.
When police were called in to help with the case in July, Casey's mother, Cindy, told police that it smelled like a dead body had been in the trunk of her daughter's car. It didn't help anything that photos of Casey out partying and drinking with friends surfaced during the one-month period between when Caylee disappeared and when she was reported missing.
The trial was messy, with Casey's defense team trying to prove that Caylee had accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16th.
“I don’t believe (the drowning). That’s a bunch of bull to me," Casey's father, George, explained. "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.”
Despite what the public believed to be an open-and-shut case in the death of Caylee, a jury disagreed. After almost 11 hours of deliberation, they found Casey not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child.
Casey was found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement and was fined $4,000 and sentenced to four years in jail.
She served 10 days.
“Lying to the cops. People lie to the cops every day," Casey said of her one conviction. "Cops lie to people every day; I’m just one of the unfortunate idiots who admitted that they lied [...] Cops believe other cops. Cops tend to victimize the victims. I’ve never tried to make myself a victim. I see why I was treated the way I was, even had I been completely truthful.”
But even though the trial ended, and we seemingly had an answer as to whether or not Casey killed her daughter, there was one question still left lingering: who was Caylee's father? She took Casey's last name, so clearly there wasn't a closer relationship, but could he have been involved in her death?
A source close to Casey says not even those around her know who the father is.
"She doesn’t talk about it. She will never tell anyone. She’ll take that secret to the grave," the insider revealed to People. "If she knows who the father is, she’s not telling."
However, there is still a lot of public speculation surrounding Caylee's paternity, and four of the options share an eerie, and deadly connection.
Yes, that's right. Casey Anthony's own father was accused of being the father of his grandchild. Casey and her defense team alleged that George sexually abused her when she was a child, and that he was Caylee's father.
A DNA test proved this not to be the case, though the defense still maintained that George abused his daughter.
“It all began when Casey was eight years old and her father came into her room and began to touch her inappropriately and it escalated," Jose Baez, Casey's attorney, said. "She could be 14 years old….and go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing [had] happened."
Yep, another family member. Casey's brother Lee was also accused of being Caylee's father. He was brought on the stand during Casey's trial and was required to submit a DNA test proving he was not the father.
The DNA test definitively stated that he was not the father of his niece.
Admittedly, this was proven not to be true, but for a while it looked like Casey's former finacée was the father of her child. Grund stated that Casey told him the baby was his, despite the timeline not totally adding up.
"I petitioned for a paternity test, and there was a zero percent probability," he said. "My attitude was, until the paternity test comes out, I'm not going to waste time or miss out if this really is my child."
"For the first year or two of her life, I was dad," Grund continued. "I was the father figure in her life, and I loved her more than anything. She was an amazing little baby."
These next four men share an unfortunate coincidence...
Jesus and Casey went to high school together, and Casey reportedly told friends that he was Caylee's father.
Ortiz was publicly named the father of Caylee in 2008, which stunned his family.
“Miss Anthony never told the family Jesus was the father or that he might be the father,” they said in a statement. “In fact, the family has never met her and does not know her.”
But even if Jesus was the father, there's just one problem in trying to prove it. The 21 year old was in a car accident in 2007 and subsequently died of his injuries. His family says the only reason Casey named him the father was because of the media attention surrounding her trial.
One of Casey's friends, Melina Calabrese, testified in court that Casey had told her that a man named Josh was the father of Caylee. Casey and Josh had allegedly met while working at Universal Studios, and a one-night stand led to Caylee's conception.
It was later revealed that Casey had been lying about working at Universal Studios.
But get this: Josh also died in a car accident in 2007, according to Calabrese.
During her daughter's trial, Cindy stated that Eric Baker from either North Carolina or Kentucky (she didn't know which) was the father of Caylee. Cindy said that Casey had confided in her with this information, but Baker's family wasn't as informed.
When they heard their son's name linked to Casey, they were confused. Eric's mother said she had never heard of Casey before the trial, and that Eric would have been a teenager at the time of Caylee's conception.
While investigating this claim, police found no link between Casey and any man named "Eric Baker." They did find, however, that an Eric Baker from Kentucky had died in a car accident in 2007. Cindy claims she had an obituary of Eric's death but that she lost it.
Michael Duggan is the most likely candidate for Caylee's father, and his mother Donna is the main source of this information. During Casey's trial, Donna Duggan came forward and said that Michael had confided in her, saying he had a daughter with Casey.
“We were talking about the upcoming birth of my other son’s baby boy,” Donna Duggan told the Daily Beast. “I said I had really hoped for a baby girl grandchild, and that’s when Michael told me that he already had one.”
Donna is "100% certain" that Caylee is her granddaughter.
Tragically, Michael also died in a car accident in 2007, so he can't confirm or deny his mother's claims.
So what does this mean?
We will probably never know who the father of Caylee Anthony was, but we do know that having four of the five main possibilities die in a car accident in the same year is pretty strange.
The closest thing we have to a clue about the paternity is when Cindy said “Caylee’s father was in a terrible car accident. He is deceased.”
That doesn't really narrow it down, but it's possible that Casey lied to her family about Caylee's father intentionally, knowing that four of the possibilities all died the same way.
Where is Casey now?
For a decent amount of time after her trial, Casey couldn't step foot outside without being harassed. People were outraged that she seemingly "got away with" murdering her own daughter and got to live a normal life.
Casey maintains her innocence to this day. The 32 year old is living with, and working for, the lead investigator on her case, named Patrick McKenna. She helps him with current cases and does social media searches and other types of "investigative work."
Casey also tried to start her own photography business, but had to shut down her Twitter account after it was flooded with comments about her trial. She has been spotted out and about in Florida, including an anti-Trump protest outside his Mar-A-Lago resort.
Despite her infamous past, sources say that 10 years after her trial, Casey can live relatively normal now.
"People pretty much leave her alone," a source revealed to People. "She can go out and no one really bothers her."
"Enough time has passed that she’s not as toxic as she used to be," another insider revealed. "She’s going out now and then. She’s got a circle of friends, and guys are paying attention to her again. Guys are even asking her out now."