Cindy Anthony Defends Daughter, Calls Her a 'Victim'

Casey Anthony, who has been charged with murder in the disappearance of her toddler daughter, is also a victim in the tragic case, her mother, Cindy Anthony, said today.

Casey Anthony, 22, is in jail on charges of first-degree murder and manslaughter related to the disappearance of her daughter Caylee, who would now be 3 years old and has not been seen since June. Casey Anthony has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

"Casey's been a victim in this as well. Casey's been grieving for her daughter," Cindy Anthony said today on "Good Morning America," adding that she has not given up hope that her young granddaughter is still alive.

"You know, this child -- everybody in America, anybody that has seen videos of Caylee, just still pictures of her, Caylee has captured their hearts. So why is it so unbelievable that someone wouldn't want to take Caylee as their own?"

About 1,400 volunteers searched for Caylee near Orlando, Fla., this weekend, but found no sign of the missing girl.

"There is no evidence that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Caylee is dead," Cindy Anthony said.

She blamed law enforcement officials, who she said are not doing enough to find the girl.

"There's never been an Amber Alert put out on Caylee," she said. "You know, the bottom line is, we thought as a family, within a couple days, within a week, that no one was actually giving Caylee 100 percent effort in looking for her."

Suspicious Smell in Car

Documents recently released by Florida prosecutors suggest that at least some family members suspected Casey Anthony might have something to do with the girl's disappearance.

George Anthony, Caylee's grandfather, suspected foul play when he smelled a horrific odor coming from the trunk of his daughter's car after he picked it up from a wrecking yard, according to the documents.

"I believe that there's something dead back there," George Anthony, a former police officer, said to investigators.

"When I first went there to pick up that vehicle, I got within three feet of it I could smell something. You look up and you say, 'Please don't let this be. Please don't let this be.'"

George Anthony also told investigators that Cindy Anthony noticed the smell in the car and said, "Jesus Christ, what died?"

Scientists found evidence of body decomposition and traces of chloroform in the trunk of the car, but none of the DNA evidence has been conclusively linked to Caylee.

Caylee was last seen in June, but Casey Anthony did not report her daughter missing until July 15. Suspicion has swirled around the single mother since then, and investigators said she gave them changing and inaccurate information.

Police, meanwhile, have accused the outspoken Cindy Anthony of trying to thwart the investigation. Prosecutors asked a judge Friday for a gag order to prevent further public comments about the case.

Until a gag order is enacted, Cindy Anthony continues to defend her daughter.

"The bottom line is, Casey's an excellent mother. There's nobody that has ever come forward that said that Casey is not an excellent mother."

You can find out more at www.helpfindcaylee.com and www.kidfindersnetwork.com.

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