Sex Offender Charged With Abducted Florida Girl's Death

The body of eight-year-old Charish Perriwinkle was found at a nearby church after she went missing in northeast Florida.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    The body of an eight-year-old girl was found after she went missing in northeast Florida.

    Authorities say a registered sex offender is charged with murder in the death of a Florida girl abducted while shopping with her mother.

    Mike Williams of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Saturday that Donald James Smith befriended 8-year-old Charish Perriwinkle and her mother Friday night at a dollar store and offered to buy them clothes at Wal-Mart.

    Williams says Smith took them to Wal-Mart, then told the mother he would buy them a snack at the front of the store. Instead, authorities say Smith walked out with Perriwinkle.

    An Amber Alert was issued for Perriwinkle after she went missing Friday night.

    A tip led investigators to a wooded area where they found Perriwinkle's body Saturday morning.

    Williams says Smith was released from jail May 31 and met with police Friday morning when officers visited to check his address, as required by state law.

    In 2009, a 7-year-old northeast Florida girl was abducted while she walked home from school. Police later found Somer Thompson's body in a Georgia landfill. A man who lived with his parents in Somer's Orange Park neighborhood pleaded guilty in 2012 to kidnapping, raping and murdering the girl and was sentenced to life in prison.

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