The former child murder defendant has been seeing a new man for about three months

By Steve Helling
October 25, 2018 04:56 PM
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Casey Anthony is dating someone new, a source close to her tells PEOPLE.

The Florida woman, who was famously acquitted of murder in 2011 in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, mostly lives a low-key, uneventful life in the South Florida home of one of the private investigators who worked on her case. She had previously gone on a “a handful of dates” with different guys, according to the source.

But one particular guy has caught her attention, the source says: a man in his early 30s who works a professional job. They have been seeing each other for about three months. “She’s had trouble finding guys who are interested in her,” the insider says. “But he’s a really special guy who can overlook her past.”

Anthony’s controversial past includes the 2008 disappearance of Caylee, who was missing for 31 days before Anthony reported her missing at the insistence of her mother. After a worldwide search for the missing toddler, the girl’s remains were found in a wooded lot less than one-third of a mile from the Anthony family home.

AP Photo/Joshua Replogle

Anthony’s 2011 trial was a media circus, with at least 40 million people watching at least some of the testimony, according to Nielsen Research. She was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges on July 5, 2011 — but convicted of four counts of lying to police.

After her controversial acquittal, she was described by a Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman as “one of the most hated women in America” — a moniker that stuck.

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The source tells PEOPLE that Anthony’s new boyfriend is aware of her past, but is still interested in her. “He is giving her a clean slate,” says the source. “She’s now in her 30s. She’s a different person than she was when she was an emotionally-stunted 21-year-old. He sees what she could be.”

This boyfriend seems to be another step in Anthony’s quest to move on. In a 2017 interview with the Associated Press, she said she was unlikely to have more children. “If I am blessed enough to have another child — if I’d be dumb enough to bring another kid into this world knowing that there’d be a potential that some little snot-nosed kid would then say something mean to my kid — I don’t think I could live with that,” she said.

But 18 months later, Anthony has softened her stance.

“For a long time she was like ‘no way,'” the source told PEOPLE last month. “But time has changed that and she’s now open to it in a way she hasn’t been before.”

Anthony works as a researcher for her private investigator. She keeps a small circle of friends, and is occasionally spotted at restaurants or clubs in Palm Beach County, Florida. She is not in contact with her family.

She continues to distance herself from her infamous past. In 2012, Anthony and her mother, Cindy, began wearing matching necklaces that contained Caylee’s ashes in small vials. PEOPLE confirmed earlier this year that Anthony no longer wears hers.

The source declined to identify Anthony’s boyfriend, but PEOPLE has viewed photographs of Anthony with him. The couple goes to movies and restaurants, keeping a low profile. “He doesn’t want to live a public life,” says the source. “For now, he’s happy being anonymous.”