JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville man who testified as a witness for the prosecution in the Casey Anthony murder trial is from Jacksonville and was a friend of the defendant.
Clint House lives in Jacksonville, but was in school in Orlando during the summer of 2008 when Caylee Anthony disappeared.
He said he asks himself every day if there was something he could have done to save 2-year-old Caylee. It took one month for anyone to notify authorities that Caylee was missing and several months before her remains were found.
Prosecutors have said she was killed by her mother, Casey Anthony, who was a good friend of Clint House.
"Right off the bat, she was just one of those sweet adorable little girls," Clint said.
He first met Caylee at his Orlando apartment in the beginning of June 2008, after his roommate met her mother through Facebook a few weeks earlier.
"Tony (Lazzaro) and Casey started dating, and I had a girlfriend at the time so we would always hang out together," Clint said.
The group went to places like Orlando's Club Fusion, where Casey was photographed in now infamous pictures partying, drinking, and dancing.
"About a month later, I got the call from my girlfriend at the time that Caylee was missing and she had been missing for a month," Clint said. "After I made my statement to authorities, I called Tony and he told me what was going on - that Caylee had been missing for a month...This was just new to everybody."
But Clint said the most shocking revelation was Casey's demeanor, that she was out partying with them after Caylee disappeared.
"We had no idea," he recalled. "She acted like everything was normal and when we would ask her where Caylee was, she would say she was with the nanny or her grandmother."
Caylee's remains were found a few months later in THIS wooded area only blocks from the house Casey Anthony lived in with her parents.
"That was a sad day," Clint said."This was a little girl that I didn't get to spend a lot of time with but the time I did spend with her was great. I taught her words and watched Pink Panther DVDs with her. Knowing that she really was dead and that she wasn't coming back, it was hard."
Asked if he ever looks back and wonders if he missed something, Clint responded, "Of course, all the time."
"There's so many different theories about where she was and I think 'what if I was walking out to my car in my apartment complex and Casey's car was out there and Caylee was in the car?'"
Casey Anthony now faces charges of first degree murder in Caylee's death.
"I think everyone saw (the charges) coming," Clint said. "We all saw it coming. The fact of the matter is that there was a 30-day window that Caylee was missing and she didn't tell anybody."
Prosecutors have called witnesses, like Clint, who've testified that Casey acted unremorseful and partied during her daughters disappearance.
"That was the first time I had been in the same presence as Casey since everything happened," Clint said of his testimony. "All I could say was what I knew and my truth and what I saw."
As for the trial, Clint said he's ready for a resolution, but he'll never forget what happened. "Going through all of this, a little girl is dead. She deserves the justice."
First Coast News