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Former boyfriend: Casey Anthony didn't tell me Caylee was missing

By Ashley Hayes, CNN
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Defense: Caylee drowned
  • NEW: Casey Anthony's then-boyfriend: She was "having a grand old time"
  • NEW: Neighbor testifies Anthony asked to borrow a shovel just after child disappeared
  • Anthony lived with her boyfriend for a month before the child was reported missing
  • Anthony is accused of killing the 2-year-old in 2008

Tune in to HLN's "Nancy Grace" at 8 ET Wednesday night for new details on the trial of Casey Anthony. Follow the details as they happen at our special Casey Anthony trial page.

(CNN) -- Casey Anthony, accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008, did not mention the child's disappearance to her boyfriend, any of his roommates or her acquaintances at a nightclub during the month Caylee was missing before police were notified, a handful of witnesses testified Wednesday.

The evening of June 16, the last day Caylee was seen, Anthony was "the way she was every day," her then-boyfriend, Anthony Lazzaro, testified. "Happy. Happy to see me. Having a grand old time."

After that, he said, Anthony started staying at his Orlando apartment daily. At the time, he was living with roommates Cameron Campana, Nathan Lezniewicz and Roy "Clint" House. All three men testified that they knew Anthony before she moved in and that they had met Caylee.

Caylee's disappearance was not reported to police until July 15. After Anthony moved in, according to testimony, neither Lazzaro nor his roommates saw Caylee again.

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Anthony has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her and denies harming her daughter or having anything to do with her disappearance. Defense attorney Jose Baez has said that once all the facts are known, it will become clear that his client is not guilty.

In addition to capital murder, Anthony, now 25, faces six other charges, including aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and providing false information to authorities. If she is convicted by the jurors -- seven women and five men -- she could face the death penalty.

The Orlando trial, which comes after nearly three years of legal twists, turns and delays, has garnered interest nationwide.

The only witness to testify Wednesday besides Lazzaro, his former roommates and House's ex-girlfriend, Maria Kissh, was Brian Burner, the Anthonys' next-door neighbor.

Burner testified he was doing yard work outside his house on June 18 when Casey Anthony approached him and asked to borrow a shovel "to dig up a bamboo root."

He said he gave her the shovel and she went into her family's backyard. He finished his yard work and went inside, he said, adding that she knocked on the door and returned the shovel about an hour later. He said Anthony's demeanor was "just normal," and he couldn't recall that she was sweaty or looked different when she returned the shovel.

Burner said he saw Anthony back her car into her parents' garage several times that week but admitted he did not know how or where she usually parked her car.

Lazzaro's three roommates testified that after Anthony moved in, she cooked, cleaned and did laundry. They and Lazzaro said she would talk on the phone but would always go outside to do so. But she never mentioned that Caylee was missing, had been kidnapped or that she was looking for her, and she never asked for help, they and Kissh testified.

When they asked about the little girl, Anthony told them that Caylee was with her nanny at Universal Studios and that the nanny was taking her to Cocoa Beach, according to testimony. Kissh said Anthony told her she was paying the nanny $400 a week, and Anthony told her Caylee's father was deceased.

In the early days of the investigation, Anthony said the nanny, who she said was named Zenaida Gonzalez and nicknamed "Zanny," had kidnapped Caylee. Authorities were never able to find the woman.

Lazzaro and his roommates testified that the times they saw Anthony with her daughter, the little girl did not appear to be mistreated, abused or neglected and that Anthony appeared to be a caring mother.

Kissh, however, recalled one occasion when she went to the apartment to see House, and Caylee -- whom she had never seen before -- answered the door. Anthony and Lazzaro were back in his bedroom, and she was left alone with Caylee for 20 minutes or so, she said.

As Kissh and House were leaving, she testified, Anthony came out and told Caylee to put her shoes on, as they were also leaving. Kissh said she helped Caylee put on her shoes and socks after she noticed the girl "struggling."

The testimony came a day after Baez dropped bombshell allegations in his opening statement. Baez said that Caylee was not murdered, but drowned in the pool belonging to Anthony's parents, George and Cindy Anthony, on June 16. Casey and George Anthony panicked upon finding the child dead, Baez said.

Baez dropped another bombshell when explaining Anthony's behavior in the month before Caylee was reported missing on July 15 -- partying at clubs and lying about the child's whereabouts. He said Anthony was sexually abused by her father starting at age 8, and was "hiding her pain," as she had been taught from an early age to behave as if nothing was wrong.

However, in his testimony, George Anthony, the trial's first witness, denied ever sexually abusing his daughter. He also said he was not at his home when Caylee died. "If I'd have known something happened to Caylee, we wouldn't be here today," he said. As a former police officer, he said, he was trained in CPR and would have done everything possible to save his granddaughter's life if he found her in the pool as Baez alleged.

Baez also alleged Tuesday that Casey Anthony was inappropriately touched by her brother, Lee, although "it didn't go as far" as it had with her father. It was bad enough, however, he said, that the FBI conducted a paternity test to see if Lee Anthony had fathered Caylee.

He told jurors the Anthony family "keeps its secrets quiet. ... You're going to hear all kinds of bizarre family behavior."

On Wednesday, pictures of Anthony, Lezniewicz and Lazzaro at the Fusion Ultra Lounge nightclub were introduced into evidence by prosecutors, over Baez's objections. The others testified about partying with her at nightclubs, including her participation in a "hot body" contest on one occasion.

Two women who worked as "shot girls," selling alcoholic shots to club patrons, testified Wednesday that Anthony was a sort of overseer, telling them where to be and looking out for them to make sure they weren't harmed.

One, Jamie Realander, said that Anthony, in a conversation on July 15, hours before Anthony's mother reported the child missing, told her for the first time about her daughter, and invited her to Caylee's birthday party the following month. Realander said she received a text message the following day asking for help in finding the little girl.

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The other, Erica Gonzalez, testified that Anthony made a remark in passing about having a daughter, but didn't know the child's name or age. Realander and Gonzalez said Anthony never told them Caylee was missing in the 31 days before her disappearance was reported.

Baez asked Campana and Lezniewicz the same question: Whether they were present at the Anthony home on June 16 when Caylee allegedly drowned in the pool. Both men said they were not.

Baez attempted to ask Lazzaro whether Anthony had told him she was sexually abused by her father, but Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. sustained prosecutors' objections and would not let Lazzaro answer the question.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, the attorney for meter reader Roy Kronk, who found Caylee's skeletal remains in December 2008, issued a second statement denying Baez's Tuesday allegations that Kronk had found the remains in an unknown location and moved them to where they were later discovered in an attempt to cash in on the high-profile case.

"The suggestion that Mr. Kronk took possession of Caylee's remains is totally lacking in logic or explanation," attorney David Evans said. "It did not happen." Kronk has been truthful with authorities, he said, and "the defense team has tried repeatedly to cast Roy Kronk in the role of bad guy, even to the extent of making statements about him on national television that they knew to be false."

After Tuesday's court session, an attorney for George and Cindy Anthony issued a statement responding to the claims Baez made during his opening remarks.

"George and Cindy Anthony are shocked and appalled that the defense would resort to lies about them in today's opening statement. Baez's idle speculation today certainly are not facts. The only result achieved by the defense in this statement was to further hurt this grieving family," Orlando attorney Mark Lippman said in the written statement.

"George Anthony maintains that he never had anything to do with the death of Caylee Marie Anthony including what happened to her remains after she allegedly drowned," Lippman added.

In an appearance later Tuesday on HLN's "Nancy Grace," Lippman was more pointed in his remarks, saying Baez's accusations were "all just fiction. His opening (statement) was fiction, and there's nowhere to go with it."

''Everything he (Baez) said about George was a complete and utter lie, and I am, for one, very proud of my client for being able to sit there as he did and just be able to take what was said about him without showing the reaction that I felt myself on his behalf,'' Lippman added.

Earlier Tuesday, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick told jurors in her opening statement that while it may be difficult to accept that a mother could kill her own child, there is no other conclusion that can be drawn, based on the evidence.

"No one but Casey Anthony had access to all the pieces of evidence in this case," Burdick said. "... No one else lied to their friends, to their family, to investigators. No one else benefited from the death of Caylee Marie Anthony. Caylee's death allowed Casey Anthony to live the good life -- at least for 31 days."

HLN's "Nancy Grace" producers Philip Rosenbaum and Lee Alexander contributed to this report.

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