JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The tear-filled funeral honoring 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle turned into a passionate push for change.
The little girl's pastor reminded the crowd that Cherish's mother and local cops are not to blame.
RELATED: New insights, details into Perrywinkle murder investigation
Dr. Steve Dobbs spoke passionately about the Perrywinkle family and the little girl that liked to play school with her younger sisters and draw.
"God was looking for an artist and is saying 'I need someone to paint me some clouds,'" said Dobbs.
RELATED: Remembering Cherish Perrywinkle
The Senior Pastor of the Paxon Revival Center Church told the hundreds in attendance he's fighting for Cherish because she can't fight for herself.
Dobbs went on to say there have been a number of unanswered questions surrounding the case and criticism of Cherish's mother, Rayne Perrywinkle, and that won't bring answers.
RELATED: 'Ride for Justice' dedicated to Cherish
"I know we want to blame the judge and blame the mama and the cops and the investigators. What we need to do is blame the law that allowed this man to go free," he said.
Dobbs is referring to 56-year-old Donald Smith, who is now facing kidnapping and murder charges in the death of Cherish Perrywinkle.
Smith is a registered sex offender and repeat offender with a rap sheet that dates back to 1977. Court documents most recently show Smith was sentenced to one year in jail after a 2009 charge of Unlawful Impersonation of a Public Employee.
So the pastor is pushing the community, the state and the nation to take a closer look at the law and sex offender policies before another mother has to bury her child.
First Coast News