Caylee Anthony's Mother Isn't Among Crowd of Mourners at Public Memorial Service

Throngs of mourners attended a public memorial service for slain Florida girl Caylee Anthony Tuesday, but her mother, who is charged with her murder, wasn't among them.

Casey Anthony, 22, remained at the Orange County Jail while more than 1,000 paid tribute to her 2-year-old daughter.

A jail spokesman said Anthony did not ask to watch the ceremony on television. She issued a statement Monday saying she disapproved of the public service.

Her parents, George and Cindy Anthony, spoke directly to their imprisoned daughter at the memorial.

"Casey, I wish you could be here today," the grieving grandmother said, her voice breaking. "I wish I could take away your pain and wipe away your tears. Caylee was so much like you. She got your beauty and your compassion. She will always love you."

"I miss my daughter, Casey," George Anthony said. "Do not form judgments because I tell you, you do not want to be in any of our shoes."

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George Anthony — who last month was hospitalized on a suicide watch after disappearing and saying he wanted to end his life — remembered how the little girl called him "Jo Jo" and "knew how to push me to kiss and hug her."

"It's God's day. It's Caylee Marie Anthony's day today," he said through tears.

The toddler's grandmother said Caylee was a happy child.

"She wouldn't wake up crying. She would wake up laughing," Cindy Anthony said.

Crowds lined up outside the church more than an hour before the 10 a.m. tribute to the 2-year-old, whose remains were found in December in the woods near her home.

An estimated 1,200 entered First Baptist Church of Orlando Tuesday, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The service was open to the public and broadcast live on local television.

The child's uncle, Lee Anthony, cried as he emphasized that the Anthony family was "united," but shattered.

"It's hard to stand up here and be the pillar of strength," he said. "This family is united. This family is incomplete. I'm incomplete. I'm broken."

He pleaded for people to have patience, forgiveness and compassion. And he spoke to his little niece directly.

"CMA," he said, using Caylee's initials — which are the same as those of his sister Casey Anthony. "I miss you. I love you. I'm so proud of you. It's been so long since I've seen you."

Earlier in the service, George and Cindy Anthony, who planned the memorial, wept and nodded from their seats in the front row as the minister delivered a eulogy and singers performed musical tributes. Lee Anthony sat with his parents.

"If you want to know where Caylee is: Wherever Jesus is," the pastor said.

At one point, George Anthony blew a kiss at a singer as she finished a rendition of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On."

Images of Caylee, who was 2 when she disappeared, flashed on a giant screen in front of the sanctuary as a pianist played, "You Are My Sunshine" and "If You're Happy and You Know It." A video montage of her jumping on a bed and dressed like an Easter bunny ended the two-hour service.

Casey Anthony said Monday she didn't approve of the ceremony.

"I still don't want the public with cameras and everyone around for Caylee's funeral service," the jailed mother said in a prepared statement read by her attorney. "I can't stop my parents from doing what they want. I truly hope it will help them."

Caylee disappeared in mid-June but wasn't reported missing for more than a month. Casey Anthony has maintained that she last saw her daughter when she left her with a baby sitter, whom police say doesn't exist. She is behind bars on first-degree murder and other charges.

Click here for Casey Anthony's indictment.

Click here for more on this story from's Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.