Image: Casey Anthony
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Casey Anthony was acquitted in July of murdering her daughter Caylee in 2008.
updated 8/11/2011 5:33:47 PM ET 2011-08-11T21:33:47

A report by Florida's child welfare agency says Casey Anthony failed to protect her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, which ultimately resulted in the child's death. But Anthony will not face additional charges as a result of Thursday's report.

The Department of Children and Families closed out its investigations of Caylee's death, noting Anthony failed to protect Caylee by not reporting her disappearance in 2008 for more than a month, and that failure interfered with the law enforcement investigation and efforts to find the child.

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The agency also concluded that Caylee died as a result of abuse or neglect, but the report said the agency was unable to substantiate that the toddler had died from asphyxiation.

"The inactions by the mother were clearly failure to protect. As the child was found dead, obviously the failure to protect led to the death," DCF spokesman Joe Follick said.

A jury last month acquitted Anthony in Caylee's death. She was released from jail and has dropped from public sight. A judge last week ordered her to return to Florida to serve probation on unrelated check fraud charges, but her lawyers appealed and another judge is expected to rule this week whether Anthony must follow that order.

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The child welfare agency's investigation was independent of the criminal investigation and the agency made no determination of who killed Caylee.

The agency investigates every child death when there are allegations of abuse or neglect. The report is also on record in case families come back in the system.

The child protective investigator who interviewed Anthony and her mother, Cindy, after Caylee's disappearance said Anthony blamed the sheriff's office for spending "more time trying to find me guilty without any evidence than trying to find Caylee," according to the report.

When asked why she didn't report Caylee missing sooner, Anthony told the child investigator she made "some bad decisions," the report states.

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Video: Judge delays decision in Casey Anthony hearing

  1. Transcript of: Judge delays decision in Casey Anthony hearing

    MATT LAUER, co-host: But let's begin this half-hour with the ongoing court case to determine if Casey Anthony will have to return to Florida to serve out probation . NBC 's Mark Potter is in Orlando this morning. Hi, Mark. Good morning.

    MARK POTTER reporting: And good morning to you, Matt. Court officials say the judge's ruling is expected this week, but not before Wednesday. And it will determine whether Casey Anthony remains in hiding or has to come out to report to a probation officer. After a hearing Friday, the Casey Anthony defense team was in no mood for reporters and all their questions.

    Mr. CHENEY MASON: You put a microphone in my face one more time, somebody's going to get hurt. Now get away.

    POTTER: The question before the court is whether Casey Anthony must now serve a year of probation after pleading guilty to a check fraud case long before she was tried and acquitted of murder charges in the death of her two-year-old daughter Caylee .

    Ms. CASEY ANTHONY: And I 'd like to sincerely apologize to Amy .

    POTTER: After stealing checks from her friend, Amy Huizenga , Anthony went on a spending spree at Target and Winn-Dixie .

    Ms. LISABETH FRYER (Casey Anthony's Attorney): May I approach? Judge BELVIN PERRY Jr.: Yes.

    POTTER: Her defense team argues that for Anthony to serve probation now should be double jeopardy.

    Ms. FRYER: Miss Anthony has actually served probation . So the issue is moot on several grounds.

    POTTER: Her lawyer says she already served probation while in jail awaiting the murder charge. The Florida Department of Corrections sent a letter to Anthony saying she fulfilled her obligation.

    Judge STAN STRICKLAND: So you read this and you understand it, correct?

    POTTER: But the sentencing judge, Stan Strickland , says he meant for Anthony to begin probation after her release from jail. Strickland how now recused himself from the case. They defense accused him of making biased statements against Anthony after she was found not guilty of murder.

    Ms. FRYER: I would argue that Judge Strickland 's participation in the media would suggest that this was a vindictive sentence based on his disapproval of the jury's finding.

    POTTER: The decision on what to do now falls to Judge Belvin Perry , who presided over the murder trial and who says the probation issue is a mess and not clear cut.

    Judge PERRY: It is quite evident that this is a legal morass, that -- if anything could go wrong, it went wrong here.

    Ms. FRYER: Yes, Your Honor.

    POTTER: Legal experts say the argument in favor of probation is that it is usually served after a jail term ends to help monitor a prisoner's return to society, although there are exceptions. At the end of the hearing, Judge Perry said he would have to think about it.

    Judge PERRY: I don't know what I'm going to do. I know I've got to do some reading and do some more research.

    POTTER: Now if the judge rules that Casey Anthony does have to serve probation for a year, the next question becomes where will she do that? Will it be here in Orlando or in some other place, perhaps even out of state, because of the security concerns. Matt :

    LAUER: All right. Mark Potter in Orlando this morning. Mark , thank you very much . It's 33 after the hour. Here's Ann.


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