JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's been two years since police say 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle was taken from a local Walmart, raped and killed by a known sexual predator -- Donald Smith.
Smith is awaiting trial, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But until then, a group of people who have been following the case said they want to do all they can to pay tribute to Cherish. They leave gifts at her gravesite like shells, sand buckets, sunglasses and sandals. And Monday they came out to her grave to release balloons.
"We clean the grave, we decorate it, we make sure there's nothing that's done to it that shouldn't be done,' Melissa DeLance said. "She needs support. She deserves to be taken care of."
The women said they keep in close contact with Cherish's father, who lives in California.
"Cherish Perrywinkle, we are here to honor you and we know that we will get justice for you. It will come soon," one woman said. "We know you're up dancing around with God and you're watching down on your father and sisters. We love you. In Jesus name, fly high with the angels, baby. We miss you."
The women who visited Cherish's grave had many messages for her.
"We will get justice for her. We haven't given up on her."
"He hasn't had to pay justice for anything that he's done, and that's what is worse."
One of the women said Cherish's father mentions things Cherish would have liked and they make sure to get them.