Mom of missing Fla. girl won't return to jail

August 29, 2008 2:04:18 PM PDT
A bounty hunter who helped free the mother of a missing Florida toddler said Friday that he won't try to withdraw her bail after all. Bounty hunter Leonard Padilla had said a day earlier that he would ask associates to revoke the $500,000 bail they posted for Casey Anthony, 22, last week. That would likely have forced her to return to jail.

He said he had concerns about the safety of Anthony and her family, but those concerns were being addressed after a meeting Friday with Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez. Both Padilla and Baez declined to discuss the concerns.

Police say Anthony is a person of interest in the disappearance of her daughter, 3-year-old Caylee, who hasn't been seen since mid-June. Casey Anthony didn't report her missing until July.

She faces charges of child neglect, obstruction and making false statements.

The State Attorney's Office consulted Baez about the possibility of extending limited immunity to Casey Anthony, according to e-mails from prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick. Under the offer, Anthony would provide statements to investigators, but prosecutors couldn't use them against her in court. They could, however, use any evidence they find as a result.

Burdick said the offer is set to expire Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Baez said he will not discuss any conversations he has had with law enforcement.

Padilla said after his meeting with Baez on Friday that Anthony can remain free on bond as long as he is convinced she is safe.

Her family said freeing her on bond would help find Caylee.

But Padilla said Anthony has not been cooperating with efforts to find Caylee since her release from jail. There is a $225,000 reward for Caylee's return. Baez declined comment on the allegation that Anthony is not being helpful.