Detective who hid Casey Anthony after her death penalty acquittal recounts their two weeks alone on the road

Florida mother walked free at the end of six-week trial for 2008 murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 07 December 2022 23:55 GMT
Trailer for Casey Anthony: Where The Truth Lies

The detective who hid Casey Anthony after she was acquitted of killing her child has recounted their two-week road trip as they tried to keep her whereabouts a secret.

Retired NYPD detective Jerry Lyons was tasked with keeping Ms Anthony out of the public eye after she was found not guilty in 2011.

She walked free at the end of a six-week trial for the 2008 murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee, after spending three years in solitary confinement for her own protection.

He told The Daily Beast that immediately after she was released, he moved her to a beach house in Florida’s panhandle region, where she was quickly spotted walking with her lawyer.

After a reporter called the house and asked if she was there, Mr Lyons says he got the then 25-year-old into his Ford Taurus.

“We left in such a hurry, I left my suitcase there,” Mr Lyons recalled. “I left with [just] the clothes on my back. We started to drive north. I don’t want people to catch me there.”

He told the outlet that the couple drove towards Virginia, but having nowhere to stop and sleep he says he called one of his daughters, who was in her 20s and in Baltimore, Maryland.

“I said, ‘Me and Casey are on the run, ‘We need a place to stay for tonight. Can we come to your house?’” he remembered. “And she said, ‘Yeah, sure.’”

He said that he went to bed on the sofa and left his daughter chatting with Ms Anthony.

“I wake up the next morning, the two of them are still in the kitchen, talking,” he said.

“They stayed up all night and talked. It was probably the first time in over three years that Casey spoke to somebody who’s around her age. I have no idea what they talked about. I never asked my daughter.”

The pair then continued driving north, with Ms Anthony keen to continue talking after three years in solitary confinement.

Casey Anthony (C) leaves with her attorney Jose Baez (L) from the Booking and Release Center at the Orange County Jail after she was acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee Anthony on July 17, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. (Getty Images)

“She was in a cell 23 out of 24 hours a day,” Lyons said. “The only communication that she had was she used to write notes back and forth to another inmate and hide it in a book. And the book would go back and forth and they would like have a conversation that way.”

He added that she would often become emotional during their conversations. “She cried a lot,” Mr Lyons said.

He also said that during gas stops, she was unafraid to be recognised.

“I was a nervous wreck. ‘Cause here she is, the most hated woman in America. What if somebody recognizes her, you know?”

And he added: “She’s going in, coming out. She was braver than me.”

In the new three-part Peacock docuseries Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies, Ms Anthony claims that she herself was molested by her father, George Anthony, and alleges that he had done the same to her daughter and concealed the child’s body.

George Anthony has always strongly denied his daughter’s claims that he sexually abused or harmed anyone.

Casey Anthony was convicted of lying to police and falsely told investigators that her daughter had been kidnapped by a non-existent nanny.

Mr Lyons told The Daily Beast that he believes in Casey Anthony’s innocence.

“I believe Casey in all of this,” he said. “I really do.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in