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Sex offender released from jail arrested for child’s murder

Posted at 12:27 AM, Jun 24, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WTVR) -- Less than an hour after police in Florida arrested a registered sex offender Saturday morning, the body of the eight-year-old girl he was suspected of abducting was found.

Police have now charged 56-year-old Donald Smith with murder.

WAWS reports that the death of eight-year-old Charish Perriwinkle was difficult for another family whose daughter almost fell victim to the same man.

It has been four years since Stephanie Thornton heard Smith's name. She said he called her back in 2009 and pretended to be with the department of children and families. He then claimed someone had raped her daughter, Christina, and asked to speak with her.

“He contacted her grandmother and told her that she needed to meet him at McDonald's to pick her up to take her to be checked,” she said.

But Thornton, who got suspicious and helped police arrest Smith, she doesn't understand how he was allowed to harm yet another child.

“That could've been my daughter that this happened to," said Thornton. “Now it's happened to somebody else's child.  It's not fair. He should've been locked up,”

Thirteen-year-old Christina was shaken about the news. Since that incident, Thornton said she never leaves their sight and is still haunted by the ordeal.

“He needs to be electrocuted. He should never be able to get back out never,” said Thornton.

Smith was released from prison on May 31 and went to live with his mother, who lives within a half mile of middle school.

Police said he had complied with all requirements to register with the state as a sex offender -- and that authorities had verified his whereabouts as recently as Friday morning.