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Missing girl's mom stays silent before judge

The mother of a missing 3-year-old Florida girl went before a judge Wednesday to hear charges she killed her daughter, a day after she was indicted.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

The mother of a missing 3-year-old Florida girl went before a judge Wednesday to hear charges she killed her daughter, a day after she was indicted after four months of searches yielded no sign of the child.

Casey Anthony, 22, appeared before Judge John Jordan, who read the charges against her and denied bond. Dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit, Anthony made no comment during the 90-second hearing. Her attorney, Jose Baez, declined comment afterward. She will be arraigned in about 30 days.

Anthony was arrested Tuesday after a grand jury indicted her on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter and four counts of lying to investigators about the disappearance of her daughter, Caylee.

The case has captivated the Orlando suburb where the family lives, and teams of volunteers have looked for the doe-eyed child with brown hair and bangs for months. No body has been found, and prosecutors have questioned why the child's mother didn't contact authorities even though the girl had been gone for a month.

In an interview Wednesday on the TODAY show, her mother said she believed the child was alive.

I know Caylee is alive,” Cindy Anthony told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira. “I know my daughter. There is nothing in this world that could make me believe that Casey did anything to Caylee. There has never been any child neglect, child abuse or anything. This young lady loves her child, more than I love Casey."

Casey Anthony wept before the indictment was handed up Tuesday, and her attorney said she would be vindicated.

"I sincerely believe that when we have finally spoken, everyone, and I mean everyone, will sit back and say, 'Now, I understand. That explains it,'" Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, said Tuesday as he stood next to his client before the indictment was issued.

'Painfully obvious'
Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary said investigators' satisfaction that the indictment had been issued was tempered by what it concludes: That Caylee was apparently killed.

"Speaking as a father, a day doesn't pass where I wish the evidence that we have gathered didn't add up to the painfully obvious," he said, adding that investigators will continue looking. "Sadly, I cannot change the facts surrounding the investigation."

If convicted of first-degree murder, Anthony could face the death penalty or life in prison. Prosecutors said no decision has been made on whether to seek the death penalty.

After the indictment was announced, Baez spokesman Todd Black said Lamar was rushing the case to the grand jury as a ploy to get re-elected.

Casey Anthony's father, George, testified Tuesday behind closed doors to the 19-member grand jury along with a detective, a cadaver dog handler and an FBI agent.

For part of the grand jury hearing, the external audio system of the courtroom was left on, feeding into media trucks outside. Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. warned members of the news media that they could be charged with criminal contempt if they made public what was said, since grand jury proceedings are secret. Perry said he didn't know what may have been heard.