AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - The nation followed every detail when Caylee Anthony was found dead and her mother ended up going on trial. There is a case in western New York with striking similarities.
It's been almost eight months since little Bianca Cartagena's body was found in her mother's home in Amherst, yet there are still no answers and no arrest.
Former Erie County DA Frank Clark said, "A child is found dead, it's going to be the person who had care and custody of the child who becomes suspect number one."
Last November 30th, 8-year-old Bianca Cartagena was found dead under a pile of blankets in her mother's home on Greengage Circle in East Amherst. The autopsy ruled she died of asphyxia, "smothering or chest compression that can be deliberately caused or a result of an accident."
The girl was only visiting. The mother, Candace Cartagena, had lost custody months before. When the little girl's grandmother came to pick her up, she found Bianca dead inside, and Candace outside in a backyard shed in a semi-conscious state. Candace later told police she had overdosed on drugs.
Reuben Cartagena, Bianca's father, said, "I think she really just wanted to get back at me."
Candace's estranged husband, Reuben Cartagena, is convinced his estranged wife killed their daughter. He was supposed to take her to Disney the next day.
"And I started doing things more with Bianca and we were going to Disney the next day so she was very jealous of that as well," said Reuben.
Reuben claims his ex-wife had been selling everything in the house, including the kitchen cupboards, during this divorce. The house on Greengage is now vacant. Neighbors, who didn't want to be on camera, say they're very surprised that eight months has gone by with no arrest.
Amherst Police say they are still actively investigating this as a suspicious death. They say their only contact with the mother is through her attorney, John Nucherino. Nucherino says he won't respond to the ex-husband's allegations because Candace hasn't been charged with anything.
Reuben said, "My little girl, my Bianca was 8-years-old and I see a lot of things about the Casey Anthony [trial] and everybody's outrage and this is a national case of Casey Anthony and there's a case right here in Buffalo that the similarities with it and there's a killer walking loose."
But making a prosecutable case is not always easy.
"I know that it's far more difficult than it would seem to the unpracticed eye. You have to prove the elements of the offense," stated Clark.
We also checked with Erie County DA Frank Sedita, who has no comment on this case because it's still unclear whether there was any criminal wrongdoing in Bianca's death.
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