Aharon Pearson, the boyfriend of Cherish Perrywinkle's mother, says he has known the girl kidnapped and killed over the weekend since she was 10 months old.
"She's a wonderful girl, absolutely wonderful girl," Pearson said. "She was so smart, she was so beautiful, she was always so happy. She was a great little artist. She loved to draw. She loved to read."
Cherish's mother, Rayne, was shopping with her three daughters Friday night when she says a man inside Dollar General offered to buy them clothes.
"This man says his wife was coming with a gift certificate that he just wanted her to have and somehow managed to talk her into giving her a ride to Walmart," Pearson said.
They went to Walmart and made their way through the aisles.
"Rayne was looking at the clothes, and he talked to Cherish into going to McDonald's, and by the time Rayne realized what had happened, they were gone," Pearson said.
Cherish followed the man to the McDonald's inside the Walmart, and that's the last time her mom saw her.
"Rayne's the type of person she won't even get in the car with me, with somebody from work she doesn't know," Pearson said. "I know there are a lot of people saying things about Rayne, and I just really want people to know Rayne is such a wonderful mother, she is such a wonderful mother. I just really want people to know that."
Cherish's mom says she told Cherish just last week to never leave a store with a stranger.
"This is the most horrible thing I've ever, ever -- it's a worst nightmare. It's a worst nightmare. It's a worst nightmare," Pearson said.