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Inmates: Mom said she 'knocked out' Caylee with drugs

By Ann O'Neill and Mayra Cuevas-Nazario, CNN/In Session
Casey Anthony, shown at her last court appearance, is charged with first-degree murder. Her trial is set for next year.
Casey Anthony, shown at her last court appearance, is charged with first-degree murder. Her trial is set for next year.
  • Investigators release hundreds of pages of documents in Anthony case
  • Anthony writes about family troubles, difficulties of being a single mom
  • Inmates say Anthony told them she drugged Caylee to sleep
  • Anthony has pleaded not guilty; her murder trial is set for next year

Get updates to this story on truTV's In Session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET, and on HLN's Nancy Grace at 8 and 10 p.m.

(CNN) -- A woman who befriended Casey Anthony in jail told investigators that Anthony confided she would "knock out" her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, so she could go out at night while the child slept, according to a police report.

The inmate, identified in the document as Maya Derkovic, of Ocala, Florida, told police in a jailhouse interview that she used to talk with Anthony through the jail's ventilation system. She said Anthony told her she regretted having a child so early in life, and gave three different versions of the events surrounding Caylee's disappearance.

Another inmate, Robyn Adams, of Altamonte Springs, Florida, told investigators that Anthony said she used chloroform on Caylee to help the child sleep, the police report said. The mention of chloroform is significant because investigators found evidence consistent with human decomposition and traces of chloroform in the trunk of a car that belonged to Casey Anthony after Caylee disappeared in June 2008.

Caylee's body was found six months later, in a trash bag and wrapped in a blanket in a vacant lot near the home of Anthony's parents.

Hundreds of pages of jailhouse letters and investigative documents released Tuesday afternoon provide a glimpse into the mind of a young woman who seemed to have a darting attention span and who found Jesus in jail, wrote about a troubled relationship with her family and dreamed of what life would be like when she went free.

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They'd go on RV vacations, Anthony wrote Adams in a letter dating from 2008, when the two were being held at the Orange County jail in Orlando, Florida. She'd dye her hair red or blonde so nobody would recognize her. She'd write a book, maybe turn it into a movie.

Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, has said he did not oppose the release of the letters because they contained nothing incriminating. The defense team elaborated on his comments in a statement released late Tuesday.

Video: What do Casey Anthony's letters telll us?
Video: Casey Anthony's secret jailhouse letters

The letters "reflect the natural desire for companionship when isolated for 23 hours a day, and clearly demonstrate Casey's unconditional love for her daughter Caylee," the statement said. "Despite these intentions, it is obvious in the letters authored by Robyn Adams that her sole purpose and only goal in corresponding with Casey Anthony was to create 'leverage to get out of prison early.'"

Adams gave her letters from Anthony to another friend, Tracey Neally, for safekeeping, according to the investigative reports. In her correspondence with Neally, Adams suggests the letters and notes might someday be worth something or lead to an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

"Thanks for doing something with Casey Anthony's notes, I certainly can't keep them in my cell with me since she is so high profile," Adams wrote Neally in a letter dated October 27, 2008. "I cry every day for my children and she is inviting me to Costa Rica??? "

Adams was convicted of drug charges in 2009 and is now serving time in federal prison. In another letter to Neally, she indicates she recognizes the potential importance of her letters to the Anthony case.

"This may be my only way out of prison sooner than my expected term,' she writes. "I never really thought about how huge this case really is because I'm not in the outside ... I hate to say it this way but I see no other way -- I may be the only thing standing between her life in prison or her freedom."

Anthony has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and her lawyer, Baez, has said she had nothing to do with Caylee's death.

Written in a vertical, girlish hand, Casey Anthony's letters and notes include jokes, drawings and nicknames such as "Cookie," which is what she sometimes called Adams. And, they include scattered references to Caylee. But they offer no insight into how the 2-year-old died.

Anthony writes that she had planned to take Caylee and move away from Orlando but "my plans got beyond tangled" when a nanny wouldn't say where Caylee was.

"I had asked her to take Cays for a few days so I could put the rest of our stuff together, money I had saved, new clothes, new everything. That's why I waited to report her missing, because she was and wasn't. I would give anything to go back to that day and to not have let Caylee out of my sight."

I would give anything to go back to that day and to not let Caylee out of my sight.
--Casey Anthony in jailhouse letter

When she mentions Caylee, Anthony often quickly moves on to other topics. Recalling photos she has of Caylee, Anthony writes, "Great, I'm going to make myself cry," and then adds, "Hmmm ... I wonder what I'm missing for lunch?"

In another passage, Anthony writes of a paternity test that showed a former boyfriend wasn't Caylee's father, adding "Joy to the world! I despise that loser and I pity him ..." She professes "unconditional love" for her daughter, saying that if it weren't for that love, she'd "end whoever is responsible" but does not elaborate.

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about Caylee and wish that I could have protected her better," she writes on another occasion. "I tried my hardest and it wasn't enough."

She also writes about the difficulties of living with her parents as a single mother.

"My situation with living at home with Cays and my folks, staying home all day and going out at night looking for Mr. Right, same exact situation. I don't know one single mom who doesn't try to get their freedom regardless of how old they are."

She continues, "That's one of the biggest things that truly cuts me when I hear them talk about me as a mother -- I was a great Mom! And I love my daughter with everything that I have. I would give my life to have her back even for 5 minutes. It's so frustrating!"

Anthony had little good to say about her family, although she briefly expresses concern for her father following his suicide attempt, after Caylee's remains were found.

One passage is typical: "As far as my folks are concerned, it's only getting worse," she writes in a letter to Adams. "They're really good at putting on the supportive face/person for the TV, but behind the scenes, it's a daily battle. Ridiculous, unnecessary and downright shameful, but what are you going to do? I just have to keep my distance and hike up my Big Girl panties."

In one undated note, she said she was molested by a family member and questions whether she might also have been abused by another. She wrote that she felt she received no support from her family regarding the allegation.

"The Anthony family denies that there was any improper sexual behavior in their family nor was there ever a time when Casey told them of sexually inappropriate conduct," said Brad Conway, the Anthony family's lawyer.

In her letters, Anthony also writes about what it is like to be infamous and incarcerated. She bristles at being a curiosity for people on tours of the jail.

"Another day, another series of rumors and ridiculousness. The life of a celebrity, huh? Right. If only I were old and ugly, then they wouldn't care."

In Session's Adam Blank Jean Casarez, Beth Karas, Emily Kean and Monique Olivier and Nancy Grace's Phil Rosenbaum contributed to this story.