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Friday, May 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Caylee Anthony Search Team Settles Objection

(CN) - Casey Anthony has settled claims that she allowed a nonprofit to spend $100,000 searching for the 2-year-old daughter she already knew was dead.

Under the deal, Texas Equusearch Mounted Search & Recovery will drop its objection to Anthony's petition for debt discharge. The 27-year-old Anthony in return will not contest the firm's claim for $75,000 in her bankruptcy case.

Anthony had made headlines in 2008 when her parents reported their 2-year-old grandchild, Caylee Anthony, missing. The toddler's skeletal remains were eventually found in a trash bag near the family home.

Prosecutors claimed that Anthony had killed the girl with chloroform before taping her mouth, putting her in bags, leaving her in her trunk and then dumping her body.

Jurors ultimately bought Anthony's defense that Caylee had drowned accidentally in the family swimming pool.

They acquitted Anthony of murder in July 2011, and the Orlando woman filed for Chapter 7 protection in Tampa federal bankruptcy court earlier this year, declaring $1,000 in assets, no income and more than $800,000 in debt owed to at least 80 creditors.

Texas Equusearch Mounted Search & Recovery quickly objected to the discharge of Anthony's debt. The nonprofit claimed that Anthony had implored it to assist with the search for her daughter she knew was dead.

Last week's settlement comes over three months after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May told the group to amend its complaint.

"TES believes the settlement with Ms. Anthony is in the best interests of TES, its volunteers and its donors," Texas Equusearch said in a statement, abbreviating its own name. "TES intends to file a motion with the bankruptcy court seeking approval of the settlement agreement."

Texas Equusearch says its massive search for Caylee resulted in calls from other families with missing children being turned away. It says it settled its claim because pursuing the bankruptcy objection would require considerably more time and resources.

"While many have debated whether Casey Anthony will ever financially profit from Caylee's death, one thing is certain; the time and money that TES must spend to pursue these claims are being taken from other families that really need their help," the group said.

Texas Equusearch is represented by Marc Wites with Wites Kapetan in Lighthouse Point, Florida, and Peter Russin with Melan Russin in Miami.

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