Memorial for Caylee maintained by Sarasota couple
ORLANDO (FOX 13) - The face of an innocent child touched the hearts of Wally and Jeanine Goodnough. Even though they never met Caylee Anthony, the Goodnoughs felt a connection to her.
In 2008, the 2-year-old's body was found in Orlando. The Goodnoughs, who live in Sarasota, made a trip to pay their respects.
"We went up there and it was a tragic sight to see," said Wally.
"It was a swamp filled with water, animals that were laying there, flowers that were there. People just standing there," described Jeanine.
It was a heartbreaking image for the grandparents of 12, and they felt the little one - lost too soon - needed a place to be remembered.
"We made a cross so people could come and pay their respects for the little girl," said Wally.
For the couple, it was a no-brainer.
"It was just one of those things that speaks to your heart, it speaks to your soul, it speaks to who you are as a person and we felt like it was the thing to do," said Jeanine.
But one day, that cross was stolen. The Goodnoughs put up another, but a few years later it was also taken.
"There is not enough emotions there to tell you," said Jeanine.
Somebody else put up another white cross. For a few years, it was okay. Last week, the Goodnoughs got a message on Facebook. It said the cross was gone once more. They wanted to see for themselves, so they went back and discovered a mess.
"There was mattresses thrown on the ground, theres tv's, the grass was well overgrown. I said you know what we have got to do and she said yes," said Wally.
The couple drove back to Sarasota, built a new cross and placed it where Caylee was found. They mowed the grass and removed the trash surrounding the area.
"It needs to be known she is not forgotten. Somebody needs to be held accountable and we need to make sure she is remembered," said Jeanine.
For the Goodnoughs, it is done out of respect and remembrance. For the little girl they never knew.
"We do this out of love and compassion for her," said Jeanine.