ORLANDO, Fla. - Evidence mounted yesterday that a child's skull discovered near Caylee Anthony's home belonged to the missing toddler, although investigators cautioned it could be a week or more before they have conclusive DNA evidence.
A day after a utility worker found the remains of a child in a wooded lot, a defense attorney said that some characteristics of the remains matched 3-year-old Caylee, while the county sheriff said clues linked the remains to the child's nearby home.
Her mother, 22-year-old Casey Anthony, was charged with first-degree murder months after the girl disappeared in June and was not reported missing until July.
One of her attorneys, Linda Kenney Baden, said at a court hearing yesterday that "anthropological measurements and hair color" of the remains were said to match Caylee.
Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary said earlier in the day that a search of the grandparents' home where the mother and daughter lived had also yielded links to the remains that he would not reveal. There are no other similar missing-child cases in the area.
Asked if he believed it was Caylee, Beary said: "My gut says yes, but I have to wait seven to 14 days for the DNA analysis to absolutely make sure."
The judge still denied a defense motion to examine the remains, saying they must wait for positive identification.
The middle-class Orlando suburb where the family lived waited for the identification of the child with sadness and some hope the saga could soon end.
Even a recording of the 911 call reporting the remains and released yesterday highlighted the notoriety of the case and the strong feelings in the neighborhood.
When a utility employee told the 911 dispatcher that one of its workers found a skull in "the Caylee Anthony area," the dispatcher exclaims "oh" and warns them not to disturb any evidence or call attention to the discovery until authorities arrive.