What Do Caylee Anthony and Addie Hoyt Have in Common?

In June 2011, the Casey Anthony trial in Orlando mesmerized the nation. The 25-year-old mother was on trial for the 2008 murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee. Ultimately, the jury returned a verdict of “not guilty,” due in large part to the coroner’s statement that the cause of death was “homicide by undetermined means.

In other words, they know that Caylee did not die from natural causes, and they know she was killed, but they can’t prove how.

According to several news articles, this could be due to what experts call “The CSI Factor,” which is an expectation that in our modern scientific era, a forensic pathologist should be able to solve any murder mystery that comes across their stainless steel tables.

In an news story that appeared yesterday on MSNBC, Orlando Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia was quoted as saying that Caylee’s bones were “very dry,” and didn’t “have anything” remaining on them, for that reason, they  were not able to perform typical forensic tests.  Dr. Garavaglia concluded by saying that this is a case that may never be solved until the murderer steps forward and  confesses.

Dr. Garavaglia’s comments reminded me of what Dr. Peterson (Milwaukee Medical Examiner) said after Addie’s autopsy results were deemed “inconclusive.”

On November 17th, Peterson told me that forensic science “is like a camera. The further away you get from the subject, the harder it is to see.”

Addie died in 1901, and that’s a long, long way from 2011.

“That’s the problem with these contemporary criminal dramas like CSI,” Peterson said. “They create unrealistically high expectations.”

If modern forensics can’t determine a cause of death from remains found six months after a child’s disappearance, then it makes it easier to understand how no cause of death could be found from Addie’s remains after 110 years.

According to “A History of Lake Mills,” Addie was shot by her husband, Enoch James Fargo. What makes that story even more compelling is that “A History of Lake Mills” was written by Enoch’s own granddaughter. In addition to the written record, there’s also an impressive paper trail that’s been discovered, establishing that Addie Hoyt Fargo’s life did not end naturally.

To read more about Addie, click here.

To read about the autopsy results, click here.

Addie was exhumed on November 3, 2011.

Addie was exhumed on November 3, 2011.

Her skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave.

Her skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave.

Addie was the wife of one of Lake Mills wealthiest men, Enoch J. Fargo. At the time of Addies death, a young woman named Martha (Maddie) was living in the Fargo Mansion. Seven months after Addies death, Enoch had married Martha.

Addie was the wife of one of Lake Mills' wealthiest men, Enoch J. Fargo. At the time of Addie's death, a young woman named Martha ("Maddie") was living in the Fargo Mansion. Seven months after Addie's death, Enoch had married Martha.

Enoch Fargo (shown here) violated state law when he did not obtain a burial permit for Addies burial at Lake Mills cemetery. According to published accounts, Enoch bribed a local doctor to falsify Addies death certificate. Weve now found proof that her death certificate was falsified.

Enoch Fargo (shown here) violated state law when he did not obtain a burial permit for Addie's burial at Lake Mills cemetery. According to published accounts, Enoch bribed a local doctor to falsify Addie's death certificate. We've now found proof that her death certificate was falsified.

Addie in 1894, two years before she married Enoch.

Addie in 1894, two years before she married Enoch.

Addie, shown here with her sister Anna (right), married Enoch when she was 24. She was dead five years later.

Addie, shown here with her sister Anna (right), married Enoch when she was 24. She was dead five years later. Addie was my great, great Aunt. Her sister Anna Hoyt Whitmore was my great grandmother.

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6 Comments

  1. Samantha Shelton

    Dr. Garavaglia is extremely good at what she does, proving that in some cases, we must simply rely on the truthfulness of others. One thing we all know is that the truth these days doesn’t always prevail, and that the justice system can and does fail, and unfortunately that’s the world we live in. Just like poor little Caylee, Addie’s justice is dependent on others and their will to find the truth! Lets just hope that those searching for justice for Caylee are as strong and willing to find the truth as you are Rose, in your search for the truth for Addie.

    As a side point, that picture of Enoch is down right disturbing! The face of a narcissistic, egotistical, cheating, snake in the grass!

  2. Liz

    So based on the condition of little Caylee’s remains, they were unable to determine the exact cause of death (other than the finding that it was homicide). So with Addie’s remains being that much older, it makes it that much more difficult to pinpoint the cause of death. And just because Casey was found not guilty due to the inability to assign a cause, it doesn’t mean that Caylee wasn’t murdered; it just means that her murderer got away with it.

    Does this sound familiar, someone getting away with murder because of the condition of the victim’s remains???

  3. Sears Homes

    @Samantha Shelton
    Samantha, I thought the same thing about Enoch’s eyes. It’s chilling, isn’t it? You know, the people in the town must have known something was up. He was living in the house with Martha Harbeck Hoyt while Addie was still alive, and then seven months after Addie’s death, he is MARRIED to Martha. I just wonder, did anyone try to confront him?

  4. Laurie Jaggers Roehl

    I don’t think anyone would have dared to confront Enoch Fargo. My reasoning (and these things may have been said before):

    1. I believe the Fargo family “owned” most of Lake Mills at that time in history which means they were the source of many people’s livelihoods. Would you bite the hand that fed your family?

    2. Anyone brave enough or well off enough wouldn’t have dared to confront or question Enoch because it just wasn’t done during that time. Think about how people “danced around” any serious topics. Nobody (or very few people) said what was really on their mind due to propriety.

    I think Enoch knew all of this and used it to serve his purposes.

  5. Sears Homes

    @Laurie Jaggers Roehl

    Laurie, those are very good points. Enoch had his finger in so many “pies” in Lake Mills, and according to the Lake Mills Leader, he employed about 100 men at Crepaco, THE largest employer in the area. If you figure five people to a household, that means that 500 people were beholden to Enoch Fargo, and at the time, the population in Lake Mills was 1,400.

    That doesn’t even count the property he owned, and the other “investments” he had in the community.

    If you look at the census records for Eugene Beach Hoyt (Addie’s younger brother), you’ll see that he left Lake Mills after Addie’s death and then traveled around the midwest as an itinerant machinist. He returned to Lake Mills sometime after 1920. (Enoch died in 1921.)

    It makes you wonder, did Eugene try to confront Enoch, and was he threatened? Did he decide it was safe to return to Lake Mills, after Enoch was dead and buried?

  6. Sonia Klein

    Very good point, Liz. Hard to believe that Caylee’s bones were almost as dry as Addie’s given the different time lapses but it puts both cases in perspective now. In any case, I believe that God may be the only one who knows what happened in both cases and He is not fooled. Those responsible will pay for their crimes. If not in this life, then in the next. We can be assured of that.

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