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Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee

By Steve Helling
January 28, 2021 01:31 PM
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AP Photo/Joshua Replogle

Casey Anthony raised eyebrows last December when she filed paperwork to open a private investigation company in South Florida -- leading many to speculate why she would want to start a business in the legal field.

Although some news reports have implied that Anthony wants to investigate the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, a source close to Anthony says that's not the case. "That's a closed chapter in her life," says the insider. "She's not starting a company to get answers about Caylee."

Anthony was charged with first-degree murder for the 2008 disappearance of Caylee, who hadn't been seen for 31 days before Anthony's mother, Cindy, reported the girl missing. After a massive search for the toddler, her remains were found in a wooded lot less than one-third of a mile from the Anthony family home.

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. Anthony was infamously acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges on July 5, 2011 — but convicted of four counts of lying to police.

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Orange County Sheriff's Office HO

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

But now, Anthony, 34, is starting a new venture. Last December, she filed documents listing herself as a registered agent of Case Research & Consulting Services, LLC.

The business is registered to a home in West Palm Beach owned by Patrick McKenna, who was Anthony's lead investigator for her defense team in her 2011 trial. According to state records, she does not have a Florida private investigator's license -- and as a convicted felon, she will not be able to obtain one.

The source tells PEOPLE that Anthony wants to help other people who are facing serious legal charges -- and that she continues to maintain her own innocence in Caylee's death.

"She knows what it's like to be accused of something that she didn't do," the source says. "She wants to help other wrongfully accused people, especially women, and help them get justice." 

The source acknowledges that Anthony has not been retained by any clients, nor has she come up with a plan for her new incorporation. "It's in the very early stages," says the source. "She has big plans for her future, and hopes that it will change how people see her."