JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Standing on his front porch, Aharon Pearson opened up about the murder of Cherish Perrywinkle, his girlfriend's daughter, who he said he loved as his own.
"It's not a time to point fingers," Pearson said.
But our interview was the perfect time to clarify what Cherish's mother told investigators the night her 8-year-old was reported missing.
Pearson said that Donald Smith, a 56-year-old sex offender, lured Cherish away.
"When Rayne's back was turned in Walmart and busy looking at clothes, and this came from some of the people at Walmart, Donald talked Cherish into following him to McDonald's," said Pearson.
Cherish's mother Rayne Perrywinkleis having a hard time dealing with some of the criticism coming from the community, according to Pearson. Rayne even went as far as to shouting out in frustration during her daughter's vigil.
But Pearson said the statements from Cherish's biological father, Billy Jarreau, hurt the most.
"He called her up and told her this is all her fault. I knew something like this would happen with you," Pearson said.
Pearson is the father of Destiny and Neveah, the other two young children with Cherish the night she was abducted, and as a father he said he understands that Billy is upset. Pearson is too.
But with two little ones coping with the loss of their half-sister, he's trying to maintain a sense of normalcy for the girls while staying strong for his girlfriend as they prepare to bury Cherish.
First Coast News