JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The sex offender who's accused of kidnapping and killing an 8-year-old girl in Jacksonville was denied bond Sunday morning.
On Sunday, a judge denied bond for 56-year-old Donald Smith, who is accused of killing 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle after taking her from a Walmart.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued an Amber Alert for 8-year-old girl Cherish Perrywinkle after her mother contacted police Friday night.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officials said Smith befriended Perrywinkle and her mother Friday night at a dollar store and offered to buy them clothes at Walmart.
Officials said Smith took them to Walmart, then told the mother he would buy them a snack at the front of the store. Instead, authorities say Smith walked out with Perrywinkle.
"The man offered to buy hamburgers and took our 8-year-old victim with him," Mike Williams with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.
Law enforcement officers had been aggressively searching for the 8-year-old since the abduction. The girl's body was found in the woods near a church in the Jacksonville area Saturday morning, according to officials.
"We did a search of the area and located our victim in a wooded area and she was deceased," Williams said.
A sheriff's office spokesman said that Smith had been taken into custody after officers surrounded his van. He has been charged with first degree murder and kidnapping.
Smith is a registered sex offender, according to officials. He was released from jail May 31 and met with police Friday morning when officers visited to check his address, as required by state law.
Residents near the church where Perrywinkle was found were shocked after hearing about the crime.
"To be convicted and not even out a week or two and it's happened again. There's something wrong with our system," resident Linda Kascharsky said.
Smith will remain in jail on no bond and his next court appearance is July 16.
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