June 03, 2011 04:45 PM

It was just a strand of hair, but it could play a critical role in the murder trial of Casey Anthony.

A crime scene investigator testified Friday he found the hair in Anthony’s car trunk near the wheel well after the Florida woman’s 2-year-old daughter Caylee was reported missing.

Gerardo Bloise of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office told the jury in the Orlando courtroom how he marked the hair as well as dirt, leaves and other debris in the trunk of the Pontiac Sunfire.

RELATED: New Jailhouse Video: Casey Anthony Gets ‘Truly Angry’

Bloise also became the latest witness to smell a foul odor from the car. He described it as reeking of decomposition in the trunk.

“I’ve smelled it maybe 30 to 40 times,” he testified. “I’m familiar with the smell.”

The discovery of the hair is a significant part of the prosecution. The state plans to have an FBI technician testify that the hair could only belong to Caylee, and that it exhibited a so-called “post-mortem root banding,” meaning that the hair must have come out of Caylee’s head after her death.

The defense disputes the findings.

RELATED: Mom Asks Casey Anthony in Jail: Will We Find Caylee?

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