Texas EquuSearch sues Casey Anthony to recover $112,000 spent on search for Cayleigh

Tim Miller, founder of Texas EquuSearch, has filed a lawsuit against Casey Anthony seeking to recover the $112,000 it spent on the search for 2-year old Cayleigh Anthony. The suit was filed Tuesday July 12th, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Tim Miller spent a month in 2008 searching for Cayleigh. Miller and nearly 4,200 workers and volunteers traveled to Florida to participate. Casey Anthony didn’t report her daughter missing for 31-days and claimed she didn’t know what happened to her little girl. EquuSearch went to Florida to search for Cayleigh because they were asked to come by Cindy Anthony who is Cayleigh’s grandmother and Casey Anthony’s mother. Texas EquuSearch relies on donations for funding and Mr. Miller said he owes it to those who donated money to recoup the approximately $112,000 spent on the search for Cayleigh, which he says is about 40% of the organization’s annual budget. The lawsuit also says that Texas EquuSearch turned down requests for help from 15 other families because they had committed so many resources to searching for Cayleigh.

There has been some speculation as to whether Casey Anthony, acquitted last week on charges that she murdered Cayleigh, may profit from the tremendous media attention to the murder trial, perhaps through film rights to her story or a book deal. So-called Son of Sam laws exist to stop criminals from profiting financially from their crimes, including by selling their stories. These laws often allow states to seize the proceeds of such sales and use the profits to compensate the murderers’ victims. The catch with Son of Sam laws as applied to the Casey Anthony case however is that the accused criminal must be convicted of the crime for the laws to apply. Casey Anthony was convicted of lying to investigators, but whether that conviction is sufficient to invoke any Son of Sam law that applies remains to be seen.

Son of Sam laws notwithstanding, any media outlet that pays Casey Anthony for her story, her time, or anything else, should prepared themselves for a significant public backlash.

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