Shoreham-Wading River grad dated Casey Anthony at time of daughter’s death; family says he’s ‘moving on’
Casey Anthony’s ex-boyfriend, who testified at her sensational murder trial, is a 2005 Shoreham-Wading River High School graduate who was dating Ms. Anthony at the time of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee’s death in 2008, the News-Review has confirmed.
Tony Lazzaro, now 24, even lived with Ms. Anthony in Florida during the time it was later discovered her daughter had been missing, though she never filed a missing persons report to police.
At the time, Mr. Lazzaro was a student at Full Sail University, where he studied music, his father, Anthony Lazzaro, said in a brief interview Friday outside the family’s Willimatic Court home in Shoreham.
“We’ve supported him; everybody is fine,” the elder Lazzaro said. “It’s just unfortunate he met the wrong person at the wrong time.”
Tony Lazzaro moved back to Shoreham after graduating college in 2009 and is now interning in the city, the father said, though he declined to name his son’s company.
Ms. Anthony was acquitted of murder charges June 30 at the end of a televised trial that grabbed headlines and captivated audiences across the globe, though she was found guilty of lying to Florida investigators about Caylee’s disappearance. She served three years in prison as she awaited trial, and though she was sentenced to a four-year term she is expected to be released from jail July 17, according to news reports.
Tony Lazzaro reportedly met with Florida investigators soon after a search for Caylee was launched, and even wore a wire in attempt to gain evidence in the case.
Text messages between Ms. Anthony and Tony Lazzaro on July 16, 2008 — the day police forced her to admit her daughter Caylee was missing — shows Ms. Anthony apologizing to Tony Lazzaro about her lies. The widely circulated texts were submitted as evidence during the trial.
During the exchange, Ms. Anthony apologized for lying about Caylee’s whereabouts over the last month.
“I’m sorry for not telling you what happened. We obviously need to talk,” Ms. Anthony wrote. “I need you and I love you more than you know.”
To which Tony Lazzaro responded, “Where is Caylee?”
“I honestly don’t know,” Ms. Anthony said.
“I don’t know? R u serious? When did you find out?” Mr. Lazzaro asked.
“I’ve been filing reports all night and driving around with multiple officers looking at old apartments I had taken her to,” she responded.
Tony Lazzaro was not available for comment. His father said the young man, who played lacrosse at Shoreham-Wading River High School, doesn’t want to be “swamped” by the media.
But he did want the community to know his son is coping well.
“Every type of media throughout the country is pretty much approaching me,” Anthony Lazzaro said. “Everything is fine. He’s just moving on with his life.”
When he took the stand, Tony Lazzaro said he had asked about Caylee several times when Ms. Anthony shared a house with him and his college roommates, and that each time she told him the little girl was either at the beach, with her grandparents or with a nanny.
Ms. Anthony was highly condemned by those following the trial for partying hard and getting tattoos during the time her daughter was supposedly missing, but jurors ruled that prosecutors did not produce sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she killed her daughter, whose badly decomposed body was found in a wooded area by a utility worker in December 2008.
Caylee’s father has never been identified.
THE ENTIRE TEXT MESSAGE TRANSCRIPT IS AS FOLLOWS:
Casey Anthony: I’m so sorry for not telling you what happened. We obviously need to talk. I need you, and I love you more than anyone.
Anthony Lazzaro: Where is Caylee?
Casey Anthony: I honestly don’t know.
Anthony Lazzaro: I don’t know … Are you serious?
Casey Anthony: I’ve been filling out reports all night and driving around with multiple officers looking at old apartments I had taken her to. Everything. I’m the worst (expletive) mother … I don’t know what I would do if something happened to her.
Anthony Lazzaro: Why wouldn’t you tell me of all people? I was your boyfriend who cares about you and your daughter. It doesn’t make sense to me. Why would you lie to me thinking she was fine with your nanny?
Casey Anthony: I lied to everyone. What was I supposed to say? I trust my daughter with some psycho. How does that look?
Anthony Lazzaro: (I don’t know) what to say. I just hope your daughter is OK. I’m going to do everything I can to help your family and the cops.
Casey Anthony: I was put in handcuffs for almost 10 minutes and sat in the back of a cop car. The best thing and the most important person in my life is missing, and God only knows if I’m every going to see her again.
Casey Anthony: I am the dumbest person and the worst mother. I honestly hate myself.
Casey Anthony: The most important thing is getting Caylee back, but I truly hope that you can forgive me. Granted I will never be able to forgive myself nor will my family.
Anthony Lazzaro: Who is this Zanny the nanny person?
Casey Anthony: Someone I met thru a friend 4 yrs ago, used to be my buddy Jeff’s (Jeffrey Hopkins, a coworker at Universal Orlando Resort where Casey worked) nanny before she became mine.
Anthony Lazzaro: Where did you drop off Caylee last time you saw her?
Casey Anthony: At her apt. at bottom of stairs, at Sawgrass Apts. Have told and shown police apartment. Drove out there w/ 2 diff. officers, just got back from 2nd drive.
Casey Anthony: If they don’t find her, guess who gets blamed and spends an eternity in jail.
Prosecutor Frank George entered the text message exchange as evidence in the trial.
LISTEN TO TONY LAZZARO’S INTERVIEW WITH INVESTIGATORS