The Florida Department of Children and Families has removed the two younger daughters of Rayne Perrywinkle from her home, Channel 4 has learned.
"We emphasize that our first concern is ensuring the safety of the children," DCF spokesman John Harrell said in a statement. "In these types of cases, it's not about punishing the parent. It's about helping the parent and making sure the children are safe. In cases like these, we would work to get the parent and the children reunited when it is safe to do so. The services we provide will hopefully help in this regard."
As for where the two girls are, Harrell said, "In these types of cases, the family is first preference."
Perrywinkle's 8-year-old daughter Cherish was abducted and killed last month.
Investigators say convicted sex offender Donald Smith befriended Perrywinkle and her daughters at a Dollar General store, then took them to Walmart to buy her family some clothes.
After spending a couple hours inside the Walmart together, Smith offered to buy hamburgers and walked with Cherish to the McDonald's at the front of the store, police said. Instead of stopping to buy food, Smith walked Cherish outside and the two of them got into his van, police said.
The girl's body was found hours later.