Controversial Tattoo Surfaces In Casey Anthony Trial
It was a packed house at the Casey Anthony murder trial in Orlando, Florida. Public interest continues to grow, as the prosecution moves ever closer to wrapping up its case against Anthony, charged with the first degree murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee in 2008.
Social network users have also followed the case. Casey Anthony was the sixth most discussed topic on Twitter, according to its U.S. trending topics list.
So whose hair was in Casey’s car?
Today’s testimony began with FBI Quality Assurance Chief Catherine Theisen, a forensic mitochondrial DNA examiner with 23 years experience and 20 previous court testimonies under her belt.
Theisen was led by the prosecution team through a discussion of how mitochondrial DNA comes from one’s maternal descendants (mother, grandmother, etc,) as well as the fact that mitochondrial DNA cannot pinpoint exactly who a hair belonged to. In order to narrow a hair sample to a much smaller population, Theisen explained that results are ran against a DNA “type” database, as well as other family members related to the one providing the sample.
Testimony then moved to the single long, brown hair found in the white Pontiac Sunfire used by Casey Anthony. The prosecution team has stuck to the theory that the hair belonged to Caylee Anthony, and was lost when her dead body was allegedly transported in the Sunfire’s trunk.
After narrowing results against the general population and deeming it likely tied to a Caucasian, comparative analysis was done to see if it matched hairs from the Anthony household. According to Theisen, based on analysis of all samples, Casey Anthony, her daughter Caylee, Casey’s brother Lee Anthony and mother Cindy Anthony could have all been candidates as owner of the hair strand.
That is, except for one additional bit of evidence found on the hair — a “death band,” or darker ring found at the root of the hair, indicating that it likely came from a dead body - presumably Caylee herself.
Additional tests were performed on the “hair mass” taken from Caylee Anthony’s body, with another similar match found to mitochondrial DNA previously analyzed from Casey, Caylee, Lee, and Cindy Anthony.
Defense attorney Baez then cross-examined Theisen, questioning her as to the levels of review performed on all analyses. Theisen assured the jury that all case work performed in her laboratories were subject to two or more levels of review.Continued on the next page