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Opinion: It's time to tell the truth, Casey!

Former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt: While Casey Anthony seems more concerned about herself than the whereabouts of her missing two-year-old daughter Caylee, her parents seem to want to believe her lies and protect her as well. Casey's lies have hampered this investigation every step of the way.

Former Sheriff’s Deputy George Anthony, father of jailed 22-year-old Casey Anthony, has stated he knows that his three-year-old granddaughter Caylee Anthony was kidnapped, who the kidnappers are and that they are being watched. Caylee has been missing since at least June 15, although her mother did not report her as missing or kidnapped until forced to do so a full 31 days later. Frustrations have also begun to mount due to the lack of honest cooperation by Casey.

She initially told law enforcement investigators that she dropped her young daughter off with her babysitter, Zenaida Gongalez, who lived in a local apartment, one that investigators subsequently determined had been unoccupied for 142 days. Now her lips are sealed, at least when providing information that could aid investigators in finding her child, and she now refuses jailhouse visits by her parents.

Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, states that she doesn’t know where her daughter and granddaughter were during the month she was gone from their home, but the man Casey was allegedly living with has denied that Caylee was with Casey and further denies any knowledge of Casey’s alleged frantic search for her child during this critical month.

Investigators and the public have been provided with a unique view of Casey’s personality and her “grief” concerning her missing daughter, this seen by an early jailhouse conversation in which Casey, when asked about her daughter by her brother, stated, “Oh my God. Calling you guys ... huge mistake. I just watched the (expletive) news and heard everything my mom said.  All they’re worried about is getting Caylee back.”  

Even though Cindy, when speaking of her daughter, said “she will get the mother of the year award for what she’s done for Caylee,” few appear ready to cast such a vote for Casey at this time. Cindy has alternated between blaming the media for her missing granddaughter to blaming some unidentified gang of kidnappers. Cindy Anthony continues to pour out her daughter’s unsubstantiated story that Caylee is being held by kidnappers and that Casey can’t tell all she knows as it would further endanger her daughter. 

Media reports suggest that Casey’s attorney has at least two private investigators trying to find Caylee, evidently believing they can do a better job than hundreds of law enforcement investigators. Perhaps it is these PIs who George Anthony indicates are watching the kidnappers. When pressed concerning her daughter’s endless lies, Cindy Anthony only replies that to lie is not a criminal offense equal to murder.  True, and in fact, one of the few truths that has been told in this sad story.  Remember that Cindy is also the person who suggested that the lack of formal charges against Casey was “a victory for us.”  How about some type of victory for Caylee? Cindy says that Casey and Caylee left the Anthony residence at 12:50 p.m. on June 16 with their backpacks, indicating that Casey was going to work and would drop Caylee off at the baby-sitter’s home.  If this is true, Casey continues to be the logical source of information about the status of Caylee, but her alleged month-long solo investigation to find her daughter.

Piecing together Casey's whereabouts
Investigators probably have the results of the DNA analysis of items of potential interest that were found in the car allegedly abandoned by Casey sometime after Caylee’s disappearance, a car that Cindy said smelled like a dead body had been in it.  In the meantime, investigators are going over the cell phone records for Casey’s two cell phones as well as those of her friends and associates, trying desperately to piece together what Casey has apparently refused to provide; her whereabouts from June 16 until her arrest over a month later. 

The media has made much of the so-called “pings” that are registered when a cell phone is activated, reactivated, transported between cell phone towers or otherwise used to make calls. They should provide investigators with a map of Casey’s travels for this critical one-month period, but what she did at each location will not be revealed.

Only Casey knows the truth, a truth that has so far totally eluded her.  In the meantime investigators refute statements made by Casey’s parents and try to climb over the mountain of lies laid in front of them by Casey, a young woman referred to as a pathological liar by her friends.  The “truth” in such matters is that once someone digs themselves so deep into lies, it may be impossible for them to tell the simple truth. 

Meanwhile investigators continue to expend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in their attempt to find one of the almost 750,000 people reported missing in the U.S. every year, while the person with the key to this mystery, Casey Anthony, probably continues to wonder why this is about Caylee and not about her.  And that’s the root issue in this case; who’s really important and why the truth is so elusive to this young mother about to enter her second month in jail, this while others, but not her, frantically search for her missing three-year-old daughter.  What does Casey know that the rest of us don’t?

Clint Van Zandt is a former FBI agent, behavioral profiler and hostage negotiator as well as an MSNBC analyst. His Web site, , provides readers with security-related information.