Last week, Casey Anthony was charged with first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and other charges. These charges were filed although the body of Caylee Anthony has not been recovered. In Florida, a body is not necessary to support a murder conviction. Therefore, if the state presents circumstantial evidence that shows that the alleged victim is dead, the state can convict a defendant of murder. Could this happen in Pennsylvania? Yes.

Under Pennsylvania law, the Commonwealth is permitted to submit circumstantial evidence to prove that a murder occurred. In the Anthony case, the state allegedly has evidence that shows proof of decomposition consistent with human decomposition in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car. Therefore, although no body has been recovered, the State of Florida will likely try to show that in light of the fact that no one has seen Caylee Anthony since June and there is allegedly little proof of a kidnapping, the signs of human decomposition in Casey Anthony’s trunk shows that she killed her daughter.