Cherish Perrywinkle, age 8, was kidnapped from a Walmart in Jacksonville, Florida on June 21, 2013. She was born on December 24, 2004, and died on June 22, 2013. Security footage showed her leaving the business with a guy named Donald James Smith (born September 4, 1956), who was eventually convicted of her murder and condemned to death.
How did Cherish Perrywinkle Murder?
Cherish Perrywinkle and Billy Jarreau, who never married and fought over custody of their daughter Lily, gave birth to her on Christmas Eve, 2004, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Rayne, Cherish, and her two younger sisters were out shopping on June 21, 2013, at around 8 p.m., when they met Donald Smith at a Dollar General and he offered to purchase their clothes they could not afford with a $150 Walmart gift card.
The Perrywinkles piled in his white van and spent the next two hours shopping at Walmart with him. Smith offered to bring them cheeseburgers from McDonald’s in the mall around 10:30 p.m., and Cherish went along with him. Surveillance footage, however, reveals that Cherish was last seen alive as she and her companion left the business.
Rayne called the police half an hour later to report that her daughter had been kidnapped, and an Amber alert was issued five hours after that. Cherish’s body was discovered the following morning in a creek near Highlands Baptist Church. Smith allegedly s*xually rap*d and strangled her to death after binding her in the back of his van.
The following links will take you to other articles that may be of interest to you:
- Who Was Found Guilty in the Murder of Pamela Mastropietro?
- Female Soldier Discovered Dead at Fort Hood, Three Years After Vanessa Guillens Murder
Did Smith Get Arrested?
Smith was immediately pegged by police as the kidnapper, and his vehicle became a major focus of the investigation. The next morning at 9 o’clock, police saw his van on the interstate and surrounded it; he eventually gave himself up and was taken into custody.
Smith was a well-known s*x offender in the area, and he had a lengthy criminal record that included multiple incidents involving juveniles. Only three weeks prior to Cherish’s murder, he had been released from prison.
The trial against Smith got underway in February 2018. In May of 2018, he was found guilty of murder in the first degree and s*xual battery and given a death sentence. As the defense sought to hide the crime scene photos from the jury, they broke down in tears. Defense attorney Julie Schlax asked the jury to put aside their feelings and consider the law.
Smith filed an appeal of his conviction in April 2021, but it was denied.
If you want to be updated about the latest news we got about Cherish Perrywinkle de@th then you can join us on our Twitter account.