ORLANDO — The woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter partied, promoted nightclub events and entered a swimsuit contest around the time the toddler disappeared, according to testimony Wednesday, and the woman asked a neighbor to borrow a shovel two days after the girl was last seen alive.
Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her daughter, Caylee. Prosecutors said Caylee died from three pieces of duct tape being placed over her mouth and nose, but Anthony's attorney has claimed the toddler accidentally drowned in her grandparents' pool.
Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008. One of the grandparents' neighbors, Brian Burner, testified that Anthony asked him June 18 if she could borrow a shovel to "dig up a bamboo root." She returned the shovel about an hour later, he said.
About a month before that, Anthony met Tony Lazaro during a party. They soon became romantically involved and she moved into an apartment he was sharing with four other people.
Her ex-roommates testified that they met Anthony's daughter several times and then at some point in early June, they never saw her again.
When they asked about Caylee, her mother told them she was with her nanny at a theme park or going to the beach.
The four witnesses said Anthony's demeanor never suggested anything was wrong.
"She was a regular 22-year-old girl," said Cameron Campana, a club promoter who was a college student at the time.
Another roommate, Nathan Lezniewicz, said Anthony liked going out and having a good time. "She was not an introvert by any means," he said.
Maria Kissh, a girlfriend of one of the roommates, said that she saw Anthony in a "hard-body contest" during a nightclub promotion, and that Anthony once told her Caylee's father was dead.