Man Charged With Jacksonville Girl's Death Has First Appearance in Court
JACKSONVILLE - The search for a missing girl in Jacksonville ended in heartbreak yesterday.
Police found the body of eight-year-old Cherish Perriwinkle who was abducted Friday night.
Police sent out an Amber Alert, but the girl was never seen alive again.
Tonight, her alleged killer, Donald J. Smith is behind bars.
He had his first appearance in court this morning, and the judge denied his bond for both kidnapping and murder.
Police found the child's body behind a church in Jacksonville.
Police say Smith - a convicted child molester - met Cherish with her mother and two siblings at a Jacksonville Dollar General Store Friday night.
Smith allegedly offered to buy Cherish a dress at Walmart.
Officials say they shopped there for hours, then Smith was seen leaving the store with Cherish.
The child's mother reported her missing that night, sending police scouring the streets, even using air support to track down Smith and his white 1998
But they were too late to save Cherish.
Donald James Smith is a registered sex offender, with several previous arrests. He was released from jail just last month.
If convicted, Smith could face the death penalty.
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