A video that has captured the last free moments of a young girl's life before she was reportedly abducted from a Wal-Mart, raped, and murdered.
Donald Smith is awaiting trial for charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery on a child, and kidnapping of eight-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle in June 2013. Smith, a registered sex offender, had been released from less jail a month prior to Cherish’s killing.
The State Attorney's Office released the surveillance video along with mother Rayne Perrywinkle’s 911 calls, according to WPIX News.
"We've been here probably two hours, and she didn't show up," Rayne told the 911 dispatcher. "I have this cart full of clothes that he said he was going to pay for. I had a bad feeling. I feel like pinching myself because this is too good to be true. I got to the checkout, and he's not here."
According to News 4 Jax, the victim was with her mother and siblings at a Dollar General when Smith offered to buy clothes for the family at Wal-Mart. After a couple hours, Smith had offered to buy food for the family at McDonald’s, which was located near Wal-Mart’s entrance. The surveillance footage shows Smith and Cherish entering a white van that left the parking lot.
Crime and Safety expert Ken Jefferson said the footage alone displays many warning signs, as reported by WJAX News.
"What we know now is that he’s actually walking her to her death," said Jefferson.
During part of the interaction with the family, Smith offered to get Cherish tall shoes. Rayne told the 911 dispatcher that could have been part of a grooming process.
"Well, the fact that he wanted an eight-year-old to get some high heels that she normally wouldn’t wear shows to you the perverted nature that he has," Jefferson explained. "He wants to dress her up, put her in heels as though she was a woman, a mature woman."
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office doubted that Rayne was telling the truth because of her custody battle. Officers did not notify the media for several hours.
"If they would have done their job in the beginning and not blame me for it and do the proper steps, Cherish would still be here," Rayne told Cox Media Group in 2013.
Smith may face the death penalty.