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Casey Anthony sued by man who found her child's remains

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2011 3:53 PM
Casey Anthony sued by man who found her child's remains

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - The man who found 2-year-old Caylee Anthony's body in 2008 is suing her mother for damages, saying Casey Anthony defamed him during her murder trial earlier this year.

Former meter reader Roy Kronk said in a lawsuit filed in Florida on Wednesday that 25-year-old Anthony and her lawyers tried to shift suspicion away from the young mother and on to him.

Kronk testified that he found Caylee's body in the woods near Anthony's home and called police. Casey Anthony was charged with killing her daughter, but a jury acquitted her in July.

In the suit, Kronk claims the defense variously accused him of involvement in Caylee's death. He said lawyers described him as a killer, a child snatcher and morally bankrupt, and accused him of finding and keeping Caylee's body and then placing the remains where they were found.

But defense attorney Jose Baez also told jurors that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family's backyard pool. If that was true, then Anthony and her lawyers knew their statements about Kronk were false, according to his complaint.

Kronk also has sued the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper and bounty hunter Leonard Padilla for defamation.

In a motion to dismiss, the Enquirer claims its article accurately reported Anthony's attempt to blame Kronk and was based on documents filed in court records by her lawyers. Padilla, who once bailed Anthony out of jail prior to her trial, contends in court records that anything he said about Kronk was opinion and related to a matter of public concern.

Kronk's suit against Anthony is the third she faces in Florida.

She is being sued for defamation by a woman named Zenaida Gonzalez, who claims her life was ruined when Anthony initially told investigators that Caylee was kidnapped by a nanny of the same name.

Anthony also is being sued for damages by Texas EquuSearch, a nonprofit group, for expenses incurred during the five-month search for Caylee.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)