The Junked Trunk
Two-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony was reported missing in July 2008. At the time, no one knew that her disappearance would ignite one of the strangest and most scrutinized legal proceedings ever.
Oddly, it wasn't a parent who reported the child missing. It was her grandmother who called 911. Even weirder, the call didn't take place until 31 days after Caylee's disappearance. In the meantime, her mother Casey had told people that her toddler was with a nanny.
The fact that she hadn't reported her missing daughter immediately drew suspicion. So too, did the fact that the trunk of her car smelled like a rotting corpse and featured a strange stain. Casey was charged with first-degree murder, and a few months later, Caylee's duct-taped body was found buried near the family's home.
Investigators found that the trunk stain contained fatty acids consistent with the decomposition of human flesh. In the carpet, they also discovered a lot of chloroform, which can be used to render a person unconscious.
The murder trial featured hundreds of pieces of evidence. Prosecutors included Casey's own conflicting statements, which proved that she lied to authorities numerous times.
Yet in spite of all of the evidence, including the trunk stains, jurors weren't sure that the state had proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. They agreed that Casey couldn't be convicted, so she walked free in July 2011, setting off a media frenzy and public outrage.