ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter partied, promoted nightclub events and even entered a swimsuit contest around the time the toddler disappeared, and the woman never appeared worried, depressed or angry, according to testimony Wednesday.
Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her daughter Caylee. Prosecutors said Caylee died from three pieces of duct tape being placed over her mouth and nose while Anthony's attorney has claimed the toddler accidentally drowned in her grandparents' pool.
In late May of 2008, Anthony met Tony Lazaro during a party. They soon became romantically involved and she moved into an apartment he was sharing with four other people.
The ex-roommates testified that they met Anthony's daughter several times and then at some point in early June, they never saw her again.
When they asked about Caylee, her mother told them she was with her nanny at a theme park or going to the beach.
The four witnesses said Anthony's demeanor never suggested anything was wrong. She would cook, clean and help out around the apartment, they said.
"She was a regular 22-year-old girl," said Cameron Campana, a club promoter who was a college student at the time. "Peppy. She seemed normal."
Another roommate, Nathan Lezniewicz, said Anthony liked going out and having a good time.
"She was not an introvert by any means," he said.
Maria Kissh, a girlfriend of one of the roommates, said she saw Anthony in a "hard body contest" during a nightclub promotion, and that Anthony once told her Caylee's father was dead.
Kissh described riding in Anthony's car along with her roommates, but under questioning by Anthony's attorney, she said neither she nor any of the other passengers smelled any odor. Prosecutors have said they believe Caylee's decaying body had been stored there, and the girl's grandparents noticed a foul odor when they picked up the car from a towing lot.
In their opening statement, prosecutors said Caylee was last seen by her grandparents on June 15, 2008. Anthony waited a month before telling her mother Caylee had disappeared, and that was only after her parents recovered the car, prosecutors said.
The trial began Tuesday with explosive allegations and two very different theories about how the little girl died.
For the first time, prosecutors said Caylee died from the duct tape. Anthony's attorney claimed the toddler drowned pool and the girl's grandfather helped cover up the accident. Baez also leveled accusations that Anthony was sexually abused by her father. Anthony's father disputed both allegations when he took the stand.
The contrasting explanations about how Caylee died were offered to the jury in part because an autopsy was never able to conclude a cause of death. Prosecutors believe they have enough circumstantial evidence to prove Casey killed her daughter during the summer of 2008.
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