Judge denies bail to sex offender accused of killing Jacksonville girl

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A sex offender accused of murdering an 8-year-old Jacksonville girl was denied bail by a judge Sunday.

Donald James Smith was charged with murder and kidnapping in the death of Charish Perriwinkle.

The little girl's body was found near a church Saturday after she was abducted from a Jacksonville Walmart late Friday.

Jacksonville media reported Smith, 56, befriended the girl's mother at a store, when he took the girl to the store's McDonald's outlet for a snack and never returned.

An Amber Alert was issued and Smith was taken into custody after being pulled over near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Interstate 10 in north Florida. He was found traveling in a 1998 white custom Dodge van -- similar to a van seen leaving the Walmart at the time of the girl's disappearance.

An update on the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Facebook page said, "This is a very trying time for our community and for our agency as we transition from an abduction investigation to a murder investigation."

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