JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the community continues to mourn the loss of Cherish Perrywinkle we hear of a custody battle that has been brewing in court since 2007 between Cherish's father and mother.
Cherish and her mother were shopping for clothes at the Lem Turner Road Walmart the night she was abducted for the trip she was supposed to take to California to see her father the next day.
"We believe that the child would be alive today if he had custody of her," says Gerald Wilkinson, attorney for Cherish's father Billy Jarreau.
Wilkinson tells our partner Action News Rayne Perrywinkle has a spotty track record as a mother. He referenced one incident in which she was told Cherish had head lice and couldn't ride the bus to school. Wilkinson says Rayne ignored that warning and sent Cherish to school anyway, resulting in her being stranded twice at the school.
Jarreau himself took to Facebook saying "I spent many years in the court presenting issues and being ignored and told I was trying to hurt the mother. Now the truth of the great mother is out. It was at the cost of my child's life."
But Rayne Perrywinkle's fiance Ahron Pierson, who has two children wtih her, says he couldn't ask for a better mother.
"This is a moment where people are upset, and the fact that he called Rayne telling her 'how dare you do this, this is all your fault' and then he called me and he said 'I knew this would happen. I hope you rot in hell.'"
Jarreau's attorney says he will make the trip from California to Jacksonville for her funeral.