JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Rayne Perrywinkle sat nervously in a Duval County courtroom waiting; she's trying to regain custody of her two daughters, ages six and four.
Perrywinkle, 45, dressed in black, remained stoic as the judge asked questions about the welfare of the children.
"Are the children set for school?" asked Judge Gooding.
At one point, the judge expressed condolences, but there was no reunification. Instead, Perrywinkle was ordered to drug court under heavy security for screening.
"We'll see what that reveals," said the judge.
The screen was ordered after an attorney told the court that it has been reported that Perrywinkle had used prescription medication that was not hers.
Attorney Patty Parker was at the hearing. Parker represents the children.
"The main issue is to make sure that these two little girls are safe and all the services are in place," said Parker.
The day before the court hearing, Perrywinkle was speaking out near her driveway; she was careful with her words.
"I wouldn't wish this on anyone," said Perrywinkle.
In June, her 8-year-old daughter Cherish was kidnapped and murdered. Convicted sexual predator Donald Smith is now facing charges.
"I taught them everything about stranger danger," she said, "but he was smarter than I was."
Perrywinkle said the past few weeks have been a battle in her mind.
"I cry everyday," she said.
In July, her two daughters were removed from her home and placed in non-relative custody.
"The nausea I feel, the pain the agony," said Perrywinkle, "I don't want any mom to go through what I'm going through."
Perrywinkle said she's fighting for Cherish, for reunification of her two daughters and against public opinion.
"I do feel that the community and individuals are really blaming you for this," she said.
Perrywinkle now visits her children three days a week. Each visit is for an hour and a half and they are supervised.
"I am all they know. They don't know anybody else," she said.
She said she won't rest until they're back in her home.
"I have a long battle ahead and I have to fight," she said.
The court hearing was brief and will continue August 20. What will it take for her to get reunification?
First for You:
-It requires substantial compliance with a case plan
-It requires parents doing their task during the supervised visits
-It requires the Florida Department of Children and Families' recommendation
-If approved it is likely to require protective supervision for a period of time.
First Coast News