July 7th, 2011
08:17 PM ET

Lightning strikes tree near Caylee Anthony memorial site

Hours after Casey Anthony learned on Thursday that she will leave jail next week, lightning apparently struck a tree next to a makeshift memorial in honor of her slain daughter,  Caylee.

No one saw lightning strike the pine tree on Suburban Drive in Orange County, Florida, where teddy bears and flowers mark the spot where 2-year-old Caylee's remains were found on December 11, 2008.

But long, diagonal strips of exposed wood scarred the tall pine tree, WESH reported, and bits of bark lay scattered across the road.

"It could be a sign from the angels that they aren't happy with what's happened," a visitor to the site told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. "The rain, the lightning, the storm - it's the heavens indicating they aren't happy."

There are more lightning strikes in Florida per square mile than in any other state, according to weather.com.

A Pinellas County jury acquitted Anthony, 24, of murder and manslaughter charges Tuesday in the death of her daughter. The same jury convicted her of four charges of obstruction of justice for lying to police during the search for Caylee.

Judge Belvin Perry sentenced Anthony to four years in jail - one year for each of her four convictions - but with credit for nearly three years already served and good behavior, her release date was set for Wednesday, July 13, a court spokeswoman said.

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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Crime • Weather
soundoff (1,086 Responses)
  1. Sonny Rice

    “Tears For CayLee” by Sonny Rice

    I saw your face singing “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away”,
    I ”yuv you Pop Pop” spoken as you colored for your last day.
    I knew you not in life and yet I grieve your loss today.
    My tears flow uncontrollably as new details come my way.
    You started as a missing child newscast over three years ago.
    Your death is still a mystery as truth your mom does forgo.
    Lies told as your frail young body was discarded as trash.
    Eaten by natures creatures as away with pieces they did dash.
    Spread across and beneath the ground, your casket a trash bag.
    Those sparkling eyes missing from a skull with a tape gag.
    That amazing smile replaced with a sticker of a heart.
    No chance for singing or breathing as hope of air did depart.
    You were cast off as if some unwanted thing.
    Not as that wonderful child I saw sing.
    So many of us openly prayed you’d be found alive.
    As your mom wasted months, only your teeth, hair and bone survive.
    JoJo, grandma and Uncle Lee still suffer your mom’s unending lies.
    She blames your death on them and only for herself she cries.
    Never in my long life would I have ever dared too believe,
    That a jury of twelve she would also deceive.
    Your in the hands of our Lord, forever safe from harm now.
    The same Lord mom and the other twelve must answer to, and explain how?
    They all made decision’s on this they will answer for in the grave.
    They answered here “Not Guilty”, twelve decided your mom worthy to save.
    Mom will be wealthy now in dollars, beyond her wildest dreams.
    This is justice here as crazy as it seems.
    So for now on earth she will live very well.
    And her last lie will be in a casket on its way to “HELL!”
    In my prayers you and all the others will always be,
    As well as the knowledge that on earth there is “No Justice For CayLee!”

    July 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOOBIE

      Get a life!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • OU812IC

      Get a life
      Sounds like you wish you had one with a name like BOOBIE

      July 8, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Zorak

      Get a hobby.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rita LaCount

      Sonny very beautiful! Caylee is an angel now!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • pastafarian

      ummm, or lightning simply struck a tree – like it does all over FL every single day. Doesn't that seem just a little more likely????

      July 8, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Please insult my intelligence

      But that's not nearly as maudlin an explanation, so not nearly as intriguing to some. I'm sure that someone will find a feather (from an angel's wing), or a rosebush will spontaneously sprout up in full dewy white-petaled bloom (as if it's weeping). I cannot believe this type of garbage is on a news website.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
    • CriticalThinkingPowersActivate

      Agreed! And perhaps someone's bowels will not move properly or a toe will be stubbed!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • vodka

      dear god. that's exactly what i was thinking as i read this scheisse. the article even makes itself sound silly by admitting that florida regularly gets more lightning strikes per mi^2 than any other place anyway. yep.. a special sign, all right.

      perhaps a dog will deuce on this writer's doorstep, and it will be a sign that god knows they're full of crap.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • mini fox


      July 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • France

      The Anthony's are so screwed up they don't know what the truth is about anything except that they probably want fame.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erik

      I have to disagree with one of your points. I am sure they are sick to death of fame. I'm sure that they all wish this entire situation had never happened in the first place, and that they could celebrate Caylee's fifth birthday without most of the rest of the world knowing her name.

      July 8, 2011 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
    • bluebird

      Who the hell was Caylee to you? You have been so brain washed you are writing poetry and posting it here.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catwrites

      I would have liked to know who you were addressing, but the line a g e s o r t of f a
      d e d

      July 9, 2011 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Eligia

      Casey Anthony deserves what kaylee Anthony suffered she was suppose to protect that lil girl that's what mothers do obviously she wasn't doing something right!! Her day will come !!

      July 9, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Vanilla

      I agree with you her time will come some crazy person will find her

      July 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • dvanilla

      bluebird, isn't it sad how people can get brain washed so easy. I was always told if a person stand for nothing they will fall for anything. And that is what has happened brain washed which clarifies weak minded.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • France

      The poem is the writer's point of view.
      That is Sonny's right.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KansasWrangler


    July 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rita LaCount

    How can that family show their faces!!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jaci

      I thought lynching was outlawed in America?

      July 8, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. sharkweek12

    Heavens not happy? Yep, that sounds about right. This is only the beginning!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • sure

      Tomorrow, wind blew near where Caylee's body was found. A sure sign that Casey's guilty.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zorak

      I saw the Virgin Mary in my grilled cheese today...another sure sign.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. secularbear

    If some god wanted to intervene, why would he hurl a lightning bolt at a tree like a toddler having a tantrum? Why didn't he hurl a lightning bolt at Casey before she killed her daughter? Why does god work in such stupid, ineffective ways?

    Oh... I forgot... he has a "plan".

    July 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve harnack

      If there was such a thing he would probably throw a lightning bolt at the memorial because he was so angry that all of these people a) presumed to know how to do his job, and b) spent so much time and energy on something that they couldn't do anything about when millions of children are suffering and need help while they are still alive.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • pastafarian

      Outstanding points! Imagine if everyone used their brains just a little bit more!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • HT

      It's called free will. It's not God's fault parents abdicate their responsibility over their children. Take responsibility for yourself like an adult. When children die like this it shows how serious your choices are.

      Anyway, death is not the worse thing that can happen to you. Rebelling against God then standing before him in judgment is the worst. If Casey does not repent for whatever role she played in this, she will not escape him. You do not mess with children, God takes that especially hard.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Only the Shadow Knows

    We get what we give. If Casey is guilty, it will follow her forever!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob

    Too bad the lightning didn't hit Nancy Grace and Jane Valez Mitchell.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rita LaCount

      I agree Bob! They incite riots! Just to have people watch their programs.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Agreed ...

      July 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • KathyB

      Agree here......

      July 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • amy

      i second that sentiment

      July 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • jaci

      Truer words were never spoken!

      July 8, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • MrC

      My thoughts exactly, the ones who holler 'FiIRE' in a crowded theater.

      July 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lisa

    OOOOoooo...Maybe God is mad at all those nuts who wanted to crucify Cayee's mom without any facts!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • mini fox

      you are so very right lisa, finally someone with a brain! 🙂

      July 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    So if god is up there he takes time to strike a tree with lightning when he's not happy with a court decision? The same guy that created the Cat's Eye nebula...is striking a tree....with electricity....because he's mad about a court decision. He has nothing better to do? Maybe if he would have stepped in when she needed him we wouldn't have had to go to court at all.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |

      God does not step in unless we allow him to God does not force us to turn to him He has given everyone FREE WILL
      God is not responsible for mans sin It is mans choice to sin and to turn away from God We make the choice to accept Christ It is everyone choice. Most do not believe because they cannot see God It is a spiritual relationship and God is very real
      Fact is God does not step in unless we allow him by turning to God I believe Caysee did not have God in her life because she would not of been in that situation and she would not of chosen a lifestyle of partying and drinking I believe her child is dead because of her choices Its not Gods fault PLEASE STOP BLAMING GOD

      July 8, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. CB

    Gannett's Orlando Sentinel shouldn't have run this and CNN shouldn't have picked it up and I shouldn't have read it or taken the time to write this and you shouldn't waste your time reading this either. Sorry.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • pastafarian

      lol. awesome post!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. France

    Anthony family from Hell

    July 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. France

    Any child deserves better than a burial in garbage bags in a swamp.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maggie

    And God has spoken.....

    July 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Adam

    "It could be a sign from the angels that they aren't happy with what's happened,"

    Or, more likely, it could be a sign that a storm passed through the area, and ionized particles in the air caused a cohesion of electrically charged atoms to strike at the nearest target, which happened to be a tree .

    July 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      This is the best response EVER to that quote.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve_PA

      That might make sense if thunderstorms ever occured in Florida

      July 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • HT

      If find it very courteous of that lightning to conveniently miss the memorial and hit the tree BESIDE it.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Katie K

    "It could be a sign from the angels that they aren't happy with what's happened," a visitor to the site told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. "The rain, the lightning, the storm – it's the heavens indicating they aren't happy.""

    Or else it could be the weather...

    C'mon, if there were angels, why didn't they keep Caylee from being killed in the first place?

    July 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catwrites

      wrong question...too many people get it backwards

      July 9, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
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