Casey Anthony Got a 'Bella Vita' Tattoo When Caylee Was Missing — and She Recently Covered It Up
Casey Anthony has gotten additional ink to cover the controversial tattoo
On July 3, 2008, Casey Anthony walked to an Orlando tattoo shop to get a tattoo on her left shoulder. She chose the words “Bella Vita,” which is Italian for “Beautiful Life.”
While she was getting the work done, she made small talk with the tattoo artist, Bobby Williams, whom she had known for seven years. According to Williams, she seemed upbeat and happy during the appointment. He later said that Anthony told him that her 2-year-old daughter Caylee was with her nanny.
But Caylee wasn’t with the nanny; she had last been seen two weeks earlier and was likely dead, authorities now believe. Anthony was subsequently arrested and tried for first-degree murder in Caylee’s death, and was acquitted in 2011.
The tattoo became a focal point of Anthony’s trial. Prosecutors told the jury that Anthony’s bar-hopping and tattoo signified that she was not looking for her daughter, but was living the “bella vita” without being saddled with a toddler. The defense argued that the tattoo was her way of commemorating her daughter, who they say drowned in the family pool.
A decade later, the tattoo has been covered up with other designs. The additional ink was first reported by Inside Edition.
A source close to Anthony confirms to PEOPLE that the tattoo has been covered up. “The tattoo was a constant reminder of a difficult time in her life,” the insider says. “She’s always been meaning to get it covered up, but she didn’t know what she wanted. She finally had the money to do it, and decided on a pretty design that would cover it up.”
“[Covering] the tattoo was one more step in her moving forward,” says the insider. “Now it’s gone.”
Anthony, now 32, has been distancing 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 month that Anthony no longer wears hers.
“Oh, I haven’t seen it in years,” says the insider. “Her mother gave her the necklace and she wore it some back in 2012 and 2013, but I haven’t seen it since. I don’t know whatever became of it. It always stood out when she wore it, but I literally can’t remember seeing it for a very long time.”
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Anthony, now 32, has spoken out only once since her acquittal.
“I don’t give a s— about what anyone thinks about me, I never will,” she told the Associated Press last year, “Based off what was in the media, I understand the reasons people feel about me. I understand why people have the opinions that they do.”
“I’m okay with myself,” she continued. “I sleep pretty good at night.”
Anthony continues to work in legal investigation for her private investigator, Pat McKenna. She lives in his home in South Florida. While she opened a photography company after her release, she has recently shut it down.