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. Jeff Frank ( R-Ohio )

    Lightning. Right. When a good electrical storm rolls through here, it can generate thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of strikes a minute. And they're near my house, near my car, near the store, near my neighbors, near my work, near the graveyard, near the road, near my wife, near my cat(meow)....GET IT? NOBODY CARES!!!

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

      Actually lots of people care as evidenced by the mobs of people outside the Anthony home, ourside the courthouse, the jail, and watching HLN and CNN as well as clicking on this story on CNN.com. Not to mention the ratings that are topping every other show on TV this week. C'mon Jeff, admit that the lightening stike wasn't a coincidence.....

      July 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • jaci

      Ya Cindy, you're right about the mobs....the lynch mobs.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. lg stl

    Luv that poem people wake up god let us know he is mad! and caylee is mad!

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

      no god is mad because he says thou shall not judge.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dr. Bombay

    Why did "god" allow Caley to suffer and die ?

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

      The question would be, "Why does God give man free will?". Because man has free will they can use it for good or bad. In this case, someone died because someone else used their free will to harm another. God is not the culprit, man is.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • pastafarian

      god was invented by man to control the masses through guilt and fear. pretty simple. now you all run off to bed now.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Macie Sue

    THIS JUST IN... Lightning strikes a tree. CNN, how would I know what was happening in the world without your amazing news reports?

    July 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TessTyFy

    To those who say this is a message from God, that it is JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE.... I think you should stop and think about God's instruction to us through Jesus. Judge not, lest you be judged the same. If this was in fact a message from God, could have easily been: TO THE LYNCH MOB.... ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, STOP THIS INSANITY AND GET OUT OF HERE! See my rage! God asks us to abide by his law, AND THE LAW OF THE LAND. The jury did that and if Casey is Guilty, it is now between her and Jesus on judgement day. If you want to use God as the reason for the lighting strike, you better be sure it is what you KNOW he would want you to say he is telling you. If you want to judge, be sure, you will be judged the same way!

    Aside from this... I think all the outrage over this and aimed at the jury is simply stupid. I think you are cutting your own throats should you ever be placed in front of a jury. The message you are sending is clear to the next juror. GUILTY ON THE GROUNDS THAT I DON'T WANT TO FACE THE LYNCH MOBS.

    The jury found the evidence lacking toward proof of Casey killing Caylee. I agree. The body was staged as testified and proven by Dr. Spitz and then again backed up by the fact that Kronk tampered with the skull, he lifted it up with a stick or utility pole, HE DID NOT MENTION ANY DUCT TAPE. He said he saw the skull on top of the bag, he changed that, it was in the bag, he later changed it, he lifted the bag and the skull rolled out of the bag. HE DID NOT MENTION SEEING ANY DUCT TAPE. The duct tape as Dr. Spitz testified through his forensics studies was taped to the skull AFTER DECOMPOSITION.

    It would be unfair, whether you believe Casey committed murder to convict on the evidence presented. Saying anything else, is a lie, is adverse to what God would request of you. You are instructed to follow the law of the land as well as his law. So don't use this lightning strike as God's word against Casey.... it is just not so, and it is blasphemy,

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

      Well put !!!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      I AGREE....... THANK YOU Tesstyfy for saying that. It is about time god stood up and say enough is enough.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • pastafarian

      in the name of your imaginary god, please stfu! if there was really a god, he would not let innocent children die. and please spare me the moronic argument that he has some plan. how could that be if we have free will? it's all so ridiculous, i can't even comprehend the amount of time and energy devoted to something so completely fabricated and unproductive.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • TessTyFy

      pastafarian Ignorance like this is why there are so many innocent people on death row in America. Someone is accused by media heads for three years and you are convinced she murdered. I just listed out CLEAR EVIDENCE as was PROVEN in trial, and you still say Casey murdered her daughter. Whether you believe in God or not, doesn't mean he does not exist. Whether you believe Casey murdered while you refuse to take in the evidence does not mean she murdered, but when you use STUPID arguments like this... and you continue to malign and antagonize, or go along with threats to the jury... YOU BETTER HOPE YOU ARE NEVER FALSELY ACCUSED because the next jury may just give a verdict of GUILTY ON THE GROUNDS I DON'T WANT TO FACE THE LYNCH MOB.

      Aside from this Mr. Ignorance... the story was about God hitting a tree with lightning and people CLAIMING it was God sending a message to Casey! If you don't believe in God... DON'T READ ABOUT HIM AND RESPOND IN THE ARTICLE... Stupid + Stupid equal IDIOT!

      July 8, 2011 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Disgusted

    Oh one problem with this...Christians are taught God is loving and forgiving...I believe the people saying God is going to strike down one person for her sins should look at their own lives...sin is sin no matter how you look at it.

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

    Welcome to the Middle Ages, folks!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Macie Sue

    @ Adam, haha!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. farterocket

    When my wife of 18 yrs. left me for a married man last year, I went through hell on earth. Grief. Extreme depression. Angst. Job loss. The feeling of impending death was too much to take. Then lightning struck the tree in our backyard. The tree fell on our house. Half the tree that is. The other half still stands. It seemed like a major sign from above at the time. Now, I just think all life's coincidences can lead the mind to believe what it wants...that we are so important that angels are throwing bolts of electricity to communicate. No.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Sorry to hear about your horrible year. I hope things are turning around.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Really

    It's comments like "Heaven's not happy" that fuel goofy groups like the Westboro Baptist Church. Come on people. Get Real.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Erin

    Nice to know that no one is allowed to an opinion because its not what you (Nancy Grace) want to hear, Quit being melodramatic!!!! it did not work the first time trying again This is ridiculous, anyone blind could see that all the evidence went back to George, he is an ex cop and knows how to cover things up! I'm not saying he murdered her, I'm saying they probably freaked out over the accident, they were living in the world of denial and acted like she was alive so they didn't have to face fact the baby is gone.
    Just because you hate her don't mean anything!! A liar don't make a murderer! Try being young, a first time mom and having HUGE cops look at you as if you hurt your child, I bet you would be scared as hell and lie too.....I also think she thought her daughter was alive during the 31 days but it got turned around on her because Nancy Grace and the media are b****es like that!
    I agree with everything Jennifer, (known as Juror#3) and the alternate juror said and I also believe Casey Anthony is innocent. I also agree with Cheney Mason when he said............
    "This is media assassination of a human life!!!" Well God showed you judgmental jerks because God came through for her!!! My advice to all of you....Get over it, get a life, she can not be tried again so move on!
    And as much as you people and Nancy Grace talk about Casey, it makes me wonder if you find her irresistible? And thanks to you people & the media ( Especially Nancy Grace) ETC. Casey is now famous.
    And Honestly, you all and especially Nancy Grace, need to Stop b****ing about how she will be famous or make tons of money. Why complain about that when in reality it is because of you people and the media that gave her FAME and FORTUNE IN THE FIRST PLACE. What is it with you people, what are you more pi$t about the fact she is famous, or the fact that everyone of you have to
    lay down at night knowing you gave her FAME? And now all you can do is kick yourselves in the a$$ for giving her fame and fortune? And I bet your more pi$t off because you know, you and the media, (Especially Nancy Grace) are responsible for her FAME and FORTUNE!
    I also think she learned her lesson about accidents and the next child she has, she will learn from the accident and be over protective. I just want to know this. Was it really worth the time and energy for everyone of you and the media to put 3 years aside, just to publicly humiliate yourselves at the end of all this? If I were you I would stop now & go on with your lives! Why keep making a complete a$$ out of yourselves? did it make you feel good to ruin another life by making up stories twisting her words? Karma is going to be a B*t*h, Oh wait I forgot, Karma is just beginning because it all backfired on you morons! I would call you an idiot but that would be an insult to all the stupid people in this world. Anyways, God bless the jurors,Casey and as well as her family! but to the judging arrogant people, I want to ask, please forgive them Lord for they know not what they do! May god have mercy on your souls!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Very well put ...

      July 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ridiculous

      I agree.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      I'm so sick of this judging, it is really making me sick, now you people are going as far as saying god made the lighting strike so now he is mad, REALLY, are you kidding me? That honestly made me angry when I seen this, I advise you all to get down and pray. Don't try to put words in gods mouth. And except that it was an accident and move on for the one jerk to sit there and say I hope this is your child is down out right SICK, no one should wish this type of thing on anyone not even your worst enemy!

      July 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      Thank you at least someone agree with me.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redneck Bear


      You are a excellent example of a Christian in my book and I'm a follower of the ancient Kemetic beliefs.
      Your post said it pretty much like it is and I admire you for your efforts.
      I hope your post enlightens other Christians to stop all of their stupid reactions, which at times is all emotion.
      I think they should look closer into their souls before passing judgements.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluebird

      Great rant. The stupidity is getting to me too.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. okcowgirl

    No one will ever be able to answer the question of why did she kill her daughter and how did she get away with it but I pray that she doesn't make a dime off of her story. I hope that all the parties involved that funneled money into the search for Caylee strike back. I hope that anyone affected by her lies also do so. I buried my own child after she was murdered and I know those offers do come but for the sake of my daughter's siblings it was better left alone.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Erin

    I feel the lighting strike was god saying stop the judging leave this family alone.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • godsmission

      Perhaps, or maybe it was just an atmospheric electriostatic discharge

      July 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane Doe

      that probably would be true if there was one.;

      July 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. godsmission

    So what? This is not news. Belongs in BELIEF BLOG. CNN should have astrology page, too.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ravinus

    It was blazing hot today. I think the hells are saying they aren't happy about such useless "news". CNN, you suck.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      Yeah and so does Nancy Grace.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
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