I began this post in the early morning and am only now just returning to it.
Today was a lazy, hazy Sunday, and my focus was everywhere unfocused! It was the kind of Sunday, here in South Florida, that was not quite rainy, not completely cloud-covered and gray, but close to it.
It was the kind of day that you’d need a flash to take outdoor photos. Oh, the sun would wiggle out from the clouds for a moment, or three, but that’s it. Mere seconds of sun. In other words, cloudy with ne’er a chance of sun and that made me lazy and out of sorts.
As it is nearly every day, the Anthony case was today much on my mind. I am thinking about the early days of the case, just after Casey was arrested for the first time; I’m thinking about Detective Appie Well’s interview with Kiomarie Cruz.
Do you remember that interview?
Talk about a huge missed opportunity – Kiomarie nearly placed an “X” on the map for OCSO to find Caylee! It’s as tragic as Kronk having to go back to the spot off of Suburban Drive over and over and over again. Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) is mighty lucky Kronk was an uber-persistent sorta guy.
As I listened to the interview with Detective Wells and Kiomarie again today, I was reminded that Detective Wells is a nice man, a kind man, and I bet his personality works well to gain the trust of suspects or witnesses. I bet he’s gotten a fair amount of confessions in his day with the empathy he uses to win people over. Casey liked him, too. I remember when she told her parents, she’d be willing to speak with Law Enforcement, but only if it’s “Happy Wells,” she said.
Sadly, she never met with “Happy” Wells. (He goes by the name Appie, though “Happy” does fit.)
But, I digress!
It was July 19th, 2008 when Detective Wells interviewed Kiomarie Cruz in his car, parked on Suburban Drive, near the school. (THEY WERE RIGHT THERE!)
Thinking back to the OCSO interviews with Amy, Tony, Jesse, Ricardo, and Casey’s entire group of current friends, the detectives would ultimately always ask: “Did you know of a place where Casey used to like to go? Maybe a place from her childhood? They’d invariably ask, Did she ever mention any place like that?” “No,” was always their answer. (BUT KIO KNEW ABOUT THAT PLACE!)
In the interview, Kiomarie tells Detective Wells about the secret hiding place behind the school that she, Casey, and another friend, Jessica, used to visit daily. It was their childhood comfort place – the space they’d go to talk for hours upon hours. They’d go there every day, Kiomarie said.
Every day until they were in the 9th grade they’d be there. They’d take picnic lunches and talk about “how much they hated their parents,” said Kio. She said, as they grew older, they’d see older kids in the woods who were doing “…mommy and daddy things. ”
As kids, we all had spots like that. I had a duck pond and a little woodsy area off of it where I’d gather with my best girlfriends and talk about….what else? …how much we loved boys and horses!
On July 19, 2008, was Detective Appie Wells so busy that he forgot to follow up and tell anyone about Casey’s secret place in the woods?
How was that ball dropped?
I do remember how, among the group of OSCO representatives working the case, each thought the other had checked out the area, when in reality, I believe the area was overlooked (in the early days of the case).
Then Tropical Storm Fay, the coup de gras that blew in between August 18th and the 24th, hit. Fay, with its torrential rains, drowned out any chance of finding Caylee in those early days.
In the last group of discovery evidence released in the case, Tim Miller and all the many people who searched for Caylee, said that area where Caylee was eventually discovered (near Casey’s secret childhood place, by the school) was knee and ankle-deep with water.
The defense will not be able to convince anyone beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone could have searched that area, it was completely impassible – knee-deep with water. If search vehicles were sinking in the muck back in that area, surely it was not a place for people to easily traverse. The defense won’t have an opportunity to poke with that awl.
OCSO suffered great embarrassment about the search of this area, but I don’t think it will be a knock-out punch by any means for the defense. Although the days before Tropical Storm Fay are likely to be an embarrassment for OCSO.
Perhaps, at the time, the OCSO were so focused on details they could not see the forest for the trees. They were all working so feverishly on the case. They were nose to the ground, all hands on deck, from what I could see – even through the “Casey as Mother-of-the-Year” smoke screens that Cindy and later, George were blowing, the OCSO was resolute in their work.
It appears cut and dry that Fay made the area where Caylee was found unsearchable. That should not be in dispute now. However, will the defense try to show incompetence on the part of OCSO for NOT searching the area prior to August 18th?
I would bet my blog that the answer to this is yes.
Oh, but the jury will see, as we can clearly see, in point of fact, a whole lot of detectives and police officers and searchers passionately doing everything in their power to find Caylee.
If mistakes were made, so be it. They were, and are human after all.
That’s the awl, the sticking point.