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"I hope they put him away" - Neighbors react to Smith's arrest

7:25 PM, Jun 22, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Patrol cars sit outside the home where Donald Smith lived in with his mother. 

Though neighbors said they knew he was a registered sex offender, even they were shocked to learn Smith has been charged with the abduction and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle.

"I thought they would be watching him a little bit closer," said Sara Reninger who lives a few doors down from Smith.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it performed an address check and spoke to Smith Friday morning at the home. 

Two neighbors, who did not want to be identified,said that Smith was a fast talker and "had an answer for everything."

RELATED: Smith's criminal history


While on scene, a woman was seen speaking to JSO, but neighbors say she did not look like Smith's mother who owns the home where Smith lived. 

Many neighbors questioned not only why Smith was ever allowed out of prison, but also why he was permitted to live just a block and a half from Dupont Middle School.

RELATED: Update: Suspect targeted victim at Dollar General


"It really blows me away that he would be allowed to be that close," told Reninger.

According to JSO, sexual offenders do not have address restrictions like sexual predators do. 

RELATED: RAW VIDEO: Police surround abduction, murder suspect on highway

Neighbors said they warned each other and their children when Donald Smith moved into the area, but their hearts are broken for Cherish Perrywinkle's mother, who didn't have a warning.

"I feel so bad for the mother," told Reninger,"I hope they put him away for good now."

First Coast News

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