Why We Care About Caylee Anthony

Cynthia Dermody

I must admit, until the recent news yesterday about Caylee Anthony's mother being indicted for murder, I hadn't been following the case very closely. I was (am) still trying to recover from Madeleine McCann, and wanted to keep my distance from yet another heartbreaking story of a lost child.

When 4-year-old Maddy McCann was abducted a year and a half ago, I think I must have checked Google News five or six times a day for the first six months, hoping for word that she'd finally been found alive. She was the same age as my son at the time, and the story sent tremors through me, brought me to tears, kept me up at night. My husband thought Maddy's disappearance was sad, for sure, but he couldn't understand the depth of my connection with a family thousands of miles across the ocean, with a girl I never knew.

Now with more details of Caylee's disappearance coming out, the fascination is back. Why put yourself through this? my husband asks. Why obsess about something you can't change?

Good question.

One I decided to ask 3_4_me, owner of the Where Is Caylee Anthony Group. Most members have been with the membership-required group since day one, following every detail of Caylee's disappearance. 3_4_me says the group provides a place for moms to talk about the case, get feelings out, and help each other through. But members also share ways to show your own kids you love them and spend more time being with each other. "Discussing the case makes you hold your kids a little tighter in that hug, and to just be happy with things," she says.

I think I can finally give my husband his answer.

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