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Casey Anthony Defense: Caylee Drowned in Family Pool

Orange County Government, Florida(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony's defense team claimed Tuesday that Caylee Anthony drowned in the family's swimming pool on June 16, 2008, weeks before she was reported missing.

"How in the world can a mother wait 30 days before ever reporting her child missing, that's insane, that's bizarre...the answer is actually relatively simple. She never was missing. Caylee Anthony died on June 16, 2008 when she drowned in her family's swimming pool," said Jose Baez, Anthony's defense attorney, who also claimed that Casey Anthony's father, George Anthony, found the body and indicated that he helped dispose of the body.

"What makes this case unique…is the family that it happened to. You will hear stories about a family that is incredibly dysfunctional, you will hear about ugly things, secret things, things that people don't speak about," Baez said.

Anthony's defense team alleges that she was sexually abused by her father and brother and hid her daughter's death like she hid the secret of her alleged sexual abuse.

"On June 16, 2008, after Caylee died, Casey did what she's been doing all her life…hiding her pain, going into that dark corner and pretending that she does not live in the situation that she's living in... it all began when Casey was 8 years old and her father came into her room and began to touch her inappropriately and it escalated," Baez said.

The defense lawyer said that Casey Anthony's actions were affected by the abuse she suffered as a child. The attorney said, "She's not guilty of murder... This is not a murder case. This is a sad, tragic accident that snowballed out of control."

Casey Anthony, 25, began crying almost from the first moments of her murder trial as the prosecutor laid out a string of elaborate lies that she allegedly used to avoid her parents for a month and pretend that her 2-year-old daughter Caylee was still alive.

The opening statements began in an Orlando courtroom Tuesday, nearly three years after Caylee was reported missing in the summer of 2008. Anthony, 25, faces a battery of charges including first degree murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child, aggravated child abuse and providing false information to law enforcement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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