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Autopsy: Duct tape was on Caylee before decomposition

MIAMI — Duct tape was placed over the face of slain toddler Caylee Anthony before her body began decomposing, and her remains were scattered among trash bags protruded by roots, according to an autopsy released Friday.

The autopsy says the girl was killed, though the method was unclear. The report also didn’t say whether the duct tape was put on before or after her death.

Caylee’s mother, Casey Anthony, has been charged in the girl’s death. She has pleaded not guilty and says a babysitter kidnapped her toddler.

Caylee’s remains were found in the woods in Orlando December, six months after she disappeared. They were apparently scattered by animals and while most of her body was recovered, the autopsy says small bones from her wrists, hands, fingers and ankles were missing.

Also found with the remains were glittery pink letters made of cloth that spell out the phrase “Big Trouble Comes Small.” The letters appear to be the remains of a shirt.

The report said no drugs were detected in Caylee’s remains, no trauma was evident on her skeleton and the decay of the body prevented more specific analysis of her killing. “Although the cause of death cannot be determined with certainty,” wrote Dr. Jan Garavaglia, chief medical examiner in Orange County, “the manner of death is homicide.”

The report was put out following an order from Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland. The child’s grandparents fought its release.

“They are apprehensive and are not looking forward to the speculation and the dissection of the report by everybody who wants to make a comment on it,” said Bradley Conway, an attorney for the grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony.

A spokeswoman for the defense attorney representing mother Casey Anthony said she had no comment.

Also released Friday was a forensic report prepared for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee examining the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car. The analysis found 51 chemicals in a carpet sample, 80 percent of them consistent with decomposition, though some of those compounds may overlap with known or possible gasoline components.

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