The judge who presided over Casey Anthony's murder trial has a theory: "There was a possibility that she may have utilized [chloroform] to keep the baby quiet ... and just used too much of it, and the baby died," he says of 2-year-old Caylee, whose remains were found five months after she was reported missing in 2008. Casey Anthony, now 30, was acquitted of the girl's murder, but former Circuit Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who now works for a private law firm, tells the Orlando Sentinel there was evidence Anthony had searched online for how to use chloroform as a sedative; a scientist also testified that chloroform was found in the trunk of Anthony's car. Perry tells WFTV the accidental killing theory is "the most logical thing that [could have] occurred, in my eyesight, based on everything I know about the case."
Prosecutors said Anthony killed her daughter by suffocating her with chloroform and putting duct tape over her mouth, then put her body in the trunk of her car temporarily. Anthony's defense attorney said Caylee accidentally drowned in the family's pool, and someone other than Casey hid her body. Jurors ultimately acquitted Anthony, but Perry says if they had come to the conclusion that Anthony accidentally killed her, they could have found her guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But, "as I’ve expressed, the only person that really knows what happened was Casey," he says. He points out that part of the reason he believes Caylee's death was accidental is because there was no history of abuse in the case. (Casey Anthony's former bodyguard thinks she did it.)