Instead, the jurors found Casey Anthony guilty on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement, which are misdemeanors.
After a trial of a month and a half, the seven men and five women of the Florida Ninth Judicial Circuit Court jury took less than 11 hours to reach a verdict in a case that had grasped national attention in the more than three years since Caylee Anthony's June 2008 disappearance.
Below is a timeline of key events in the case:
June 15, 2008: Casey claims to have seen Caylee for the last time. She said she dropped the little girl off at a babysitter's home and when she returned to pick her up, neither Casey nor the babysitter were there.
June 30, 2008: Casey Anthony's car towed. The family car Casey Anthony had been using was found abandoned in front of an Orlando, Fla., cash advance business and towed away. When the towing company called Casey's parents, Cindy and George Anthony, they became concerned. Casey reportedly had told her mother that she was going on a "mini-vacation" to Jacksonville, Fla. Cindy Anthony later discovered that her daughter had been staying with a boyfriend.
July 15, 2008: Caylee Anthony reported missing. Cindy Anthony called 911 and said, "I found out my granddaughter has been taken, she has been missing for a month." Casey Anthony allegedly told her family and police that she had not seen her daughter for 31 days and had launched her own investigation. In one of three calls placed to 911, Cindy Anthony said, "I found my daughter's car today and it smelled like there's been a dead body in the damn car." Cindy Anthony later retracted that statement, and the Anthony family rallied around Casey.
July 16, 2008: Casey Anthony arrested. Casey told police that she left Caylee at the apartment of a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, and that both were missing when she returned. Police found, among other discrepancies with her story, that the apartment had been vacant for more than 140 days. Casey was arrested and charged with child neglect.
July 22, 2008: New revelations at bond hearing. In a bond hearing for Casey Anthony, detectives revealed that they had found strands of hair that looked like Caylee's in the trunk of the Anthony family car, and that cadaver dogs had smelled human decomposition in the trunk. Bail was set at $500,000.
July 22, 2008: Casey Anthony called "person of interest." Officials said Casey Anthony is a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance and they were treating the case as a potential homicide.
July 24, 2008: Grandmother reports sighting of missing Caylee. Cindy Anthony told reporters that Caylee was spotted in Georgia, but police could not verify that claim.
Aug. 9, 2008: Caylee's third birthday. Birthday came and went with no sign of the missing child.
Aug. 17, 2008: Bounty hunter offers bond. The arrival of a Californian named Leonard Padilla added to the intrigue. A veteran bounty hunter with his own reality-TV show, Padilla claimed he'd been contacted by Casey Anthony and would post her bond.
Aug. 21, 2008: Casey Anthony out of jail again. Casey Anthony was released from jail after Padilla posted her bond.
Aug. 30, 2008: Casey Anthony returned to jail. Casey Anthony taken into custody on new charges, including petty theft.
Sept. 1, 2008: Police said they believe Caylee Anthony is not alive. The Orange County Sheriff's Office issued a statement saying that based on evidence that wasn't yet public and FBI tests, it believed "there is a strong probability that Caylee [Anthony] is deceased."
Sept. 5, 2008: Casey Anthony released from jail.