ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Thousands of mourners were expected Tuesday
at a memorial for Caylee Anthony, the Florida toddler who was missing for a month before police were alerted last summer and whose remains were discovered in woods near her home.
The memorial is public and was set to be broadcast live on local television, against the wishes of the child's jailed mother, Casey Anthony.
Caylee was 2 when she disappeared last summer. She was only reported missing in July, a month after she was last seen, and her remains were found in December.
Casey Anthony, 22, is charged with first-degree murder in her daughter's death. She's being held at the Orange County jail, where she will remain during the service. She can ask for permission to watch the memorial on TV but hasn't done so, according to jail officials.
Casey Anthony said in a statement read to the media by her lawyer that she wanted the memorial to be closed to the media and public.
"I still don't want a public event with cameras and everybody around for Caylee's service, but I can't stop my parents from doing what they want," Casey Anthony said in the statement. "I truly hope that it will help them."
Anthony's parents, Cindy and George, scheduled the public event at the 5,000-seat First Baptist Church of Orlando.
Cindy Anthony asked in a eulogy published Sunday in The Orlando Sentinel that "those with only the purest of hearts and truly honorable intentions attend the service."
Security will be tight at the memorial. No backpacks or purses will be allowed inside the church, and everyone will have to pass through a metal detector.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)