8-Year-Old Cherish Perrywinkle's Suspected Killer Checked in With Cops on Morning of Her Death

Horrifying 22

Donald James SmithThe discovery of missing 8-year-old girl Cherish Perrywinkle's body over the weekend was the ending to the story no one wanted to hear. But the more we hear from Florida police about Donald James Smith, the 56-year-old registered sex offender they think killed her, the more inevitable tragedy seems.

Smith is the man who met Perrywinkle's mother in a dollar store Friday night and apparently convinced her he was some sort of good Samaritan, offering to buy food and clothes for her and her four kids. At some point Cherish (who was first identified in an Amber Alert as Charish) allegedly left a Wal-Mart with Smith on her own mom's OK.

Why she said yes is anyone's guess. Maybe she was overwhelmed with four kids on a hot summer night and not thinking straight. Maybe she really believed this guy was a good guy.

Now we know her 8-year-old daughter is dead, and the monster is not Cherish's mom. It's Donald Smith.

Because whether he's responsible for killing this little girl and abandoning her body in the woods near a church or not, we now know this man out of prison, out walking the streets and mingling with average families, is pure evil.

According to reports of Donald Smith's sordid past:

1. In 1993, Smith was added to the sex offender registry after being convicted of attempted kidnapping and selling obscene materials.

2. After that conviction, Smith didn't keep his nose clean. He's had a series of arrests over the past 20 years.

3. His latest offense was a charge of child abuse in 2009 after making obscene phone calls to a 10-year-old girl, making verbal threats, and impersonating a social worker with the Florida Department of Children and Families who claimed to be investigating the girl's family.

4. Smith only left jail on May 29 after his latest tangle with the law, and on the very day Cherish went missing, he met with police to comply with a state law that requires sex offenders to verify their address once a year. He had been reminded that very day not to be around kids ... and yet the evidence point to him violating that order. He knew the rules and he allegedly ignored them completely!

At least we'd like to think that a meeting with cops should be enough to keep sex offenders on the straight and narrow for a few days ... at least. But even if he just cozied up to Cherish's mom, it looks like Smith was already up to his old tricks within hours of talking to the police!

Whether he killed Cherish or not, this is not a guy we want walking around on the streets, going to dollar stores where we take our kids. Now he's locked up with no bail and likely won't be out any time soon. Now kids are safer.

But what does that do for little Cherish?

It's tragic that it took the death of a little girl to make the courts realize that.

What do you make of this man being out of prison to begin with?


Image via police

crime, death, child abuse


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LostS... LostSoul88

1. Why the fuck would a mother allow a STRANGER to take her child alone?!

2. why the fuck is this country allowing these sex offenders out?! He should have neevr been released!

Graca... Gracalynsmom

 I do blame the mother, It's her job to protect her child, I don't care how poor you are, you never allow a stranger to take your child. no one is ever going to walk up and offer food and clothes without a price. That little girl is dead because of her so called mother's lack of commom sense.  So tragic.

Jessica Lynn Birdwell

Yeah, I'm usually not one to place blame on the parents, but come on! She JUST met this guy, and then allowed her child to go off with him alone, it's just bad parenting. Whether he was playing 'good samaritan' or not, you don't just send your child off with a person you don't know. I mean, would she have let her climb in a van with 'free candy' on the side?? Just a completely sad situation. 

Faith Evans

This information is wrong, for one she only had 3 kids and second she said she met him at a Dollar store and he offered to allow her to use a walmart gift card for her kids. He then said he was going to the McDonalds in the store and asked her if she wanted anything and her 8 yr old answered with a cheeseburger. She continued to shop and thought her daughter was right behind her the whole time. She said once she realized her daughter was gone, that's when she realized she must have tried to go with him to the McDonald's. This poor mom is being bashed hard core on this thing, because the information is wrong. Go and read the Hoffington post article and find out the truth.

nonmember avatar Karri

Why are so many people blaming the mother? Should she have been more careful? Yes. Who allows a stranger to take their child? So many people are saying "no one in their right mind." But it seems she had reason to believe that this was a "nice guy;" maybe that was deluded of her but really stop judging her. Everyone at some point gets deluded into thinking other people are better than they are or into thinking someone can be trusted who can't. The tragedy is that it happened when a child's life was at stake. The pervert who did this should be punished in such a manner that makes it impossible for him to ever do it again. And people are saying that no one would help someone for nothing. . . well I have in the past helped people and can imagine helping someone in this situation. I know how hard it can be to take kids shopping and to pay for food for a bunch of children so if I was in the position to help a mother I would. There have been times when I have been the stranger who helped another person's children because the parents were nowhere were out of reach. I'm glad that in those situations I was there instead of someone who would have wanted to harm the kids. Not everyone out there is out to hurt kids, and this mother thought she knew what kind of man this was. Tragically she didn't but that is the fault of the evil man who chose to commit perverted acts and to kill the girl.

Jessica Chowning

Unless you all really know the mother, you cannot really judge. I know the mother. I lived with her and Cherish in a shelter. The mother WAS neglectful, but perhaps she was overwhelmed and stressed. From her past I would say so. She was ignorant, and uneducated. Letting your child go with someone you just met NO MATTER how nice they are is just stupid. The mother Rayne, has to live with this guilt the rest of her life, because she is not properly educated on good parenting.


Joanne Armitage

Sorry but NO I wouldn't let anyone take my kids like that, it is her fault for letting a stranger take the poor little girl and yes it's her fault that she's dead and god knows how and what that monster did! It's your job as a parent to protect your bloody kids...... How can anyone say different. I don't care how many kids she had or have no money, there is no excuse at all!

Talisha Hunter

should have been watching her kids a lil more than.

Rose Blankenship

I blame the mom because of her actions.......it's not like she snuck up on the little girl and took her..........but most of all, I blame this country's lack of backbone when dealing with these monsters.  They will never stop...the sad part is...when they get out, they kill their next victim's so they can't tell...I see no difference in giving these monsters life in prison on any form of child molestation, etc etc. then giving a person who commits rape and or murder.  IT IS THE GOVERNMENT'S FAULT that this happens over and over again.

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