Anthony's "Rotten Pizza Theory" Tested By Eyewitness News
POSTED: 3:58 pm EDT July 31, 2008
UPDATED: 5:23 pm EDT July 31, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. -- One of the biggest clues detectives have in the case of missing 2-year-old Caylee Anthony is a foul stench in the trunk of the car her mother, Casey, was driving. The family claimed the stench wasn't caused by Caylee's body, but instead by a rotted pizza.
Eyewitness News has had plenty of viewers question how an old pizza could be confused with a decomposing body. Caylee's grandmother said that the car didn't smell of death, but instead rotting pizza in the trunk. So, Eyewitness News decided leave one in a car to see what happened.
It's not the most scientific experiment, but it might shed light on the validity of the "rotting pizza theory." Eyewitness News took a basic Domino's Meatzza pizza and put the leftovers inside a locked car in the Florida sun.
"It smells like there was a dead body in the damn car," Cindy Anthony told a 911 dispatcher in a call to turn in her daughter.
A detective told prosecutors he smelled it, too.
"The evidence of decomposition would lead you to believe, would it not, that there is the possibility that this child is no longer alive?" the prosecutor asked Det. Yuri Melich.
"Yes, that can be concluded," he said during court room testimony.
"How do you deal with what they're saying about in the trunk of the car?" Eyewitness News later asked Cindy Anthony.
"There was a bag of pizza for like 12 days in the trunk of the car full of maggots. It stunk so bad, you know how hot it's been," she said.
But the Eyewitness News experiment doesn't support the smelly pizza theory after temperatures in the 90s. After seven days, the moisture was gone from the pizza and it had the consistency of shoe leather. More importantly, you have to get really close to smell anything and, when you do, the smell is pizza.
Channel 9 managing editor Joel Davis volunteered his car for the experiment.
"About every other day I've taken a look at it. The first day or two, you open the trunk and you have the smell of pizza. But after that, nothing," he said. "No smell whatsoever."