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Contentious custody battle over Cherish Perrywinkle

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Updated: 6/25/2013 7:11 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The father of Cherish Perrywinkle is planning to come to Jacksonville to bury his daughter.

As Action News was first to tell you, his reunion with Cherish’s mother could be difficult.

Cherish and her mother were shopping for clothes the night before the 8-year-old was scheduled to fly to California for the summer.

A trip to see her father, Billy Jarreau. A trip she never got to make.

“He was going to pick her up at six in the morning and instead he received a phone call from detectives that they found his daughter dead,” said Gerald Wilkerson, Jarreau’s attorney.

A death, Wilkerson, claims would have been prevented if cherish was in the right hands.

I've learned through court documents, Cherish's parents have been entangled in a bitter custody battle since 2007.

The court ruled in the mother's favor. "It was hard for the court to really see it was a good idea to send the child to California with my client," says Wilkerson, "The mother in this case just didn't have any way to pay for transportation, so she'd probably never see her daughter again."

According to the documents provided by Wilkerson from Duval county schools, Cherish missed 18 days of school in one semester.

“My client was contacted by the school that the child had head lice and she wasn't allowed to ride the bus. She still sent the child to school and that resulted in the child being stranded twice at the school,” said Wilkerson.

Wilkerson says it's just one of many issues surrounding a problematic parental track record. “We believe the child would be alive today if he had custody of her."

"I couldn't ask for a better mother," said Ahron Pearson.

Pearson has two children with Cherish's mother.

He tells me Jarreau's accusations are challis and cold. And claims Jarreau offered him money to adopt his daughter.

As a community mourns the loss of a beloved little girl, Pearson says now is a time for grieving not pointing fingers. “This is a moment where people are upset and the fact that he called Cherish's mother telling her how dare you do this, this is your fault. Then he called me and said I knew this would happen, I hope you rot in hell."

Jarreau is also speaking out on Facebook. In a message posted Saturday he wrote, "To everyone I am trying to stay politically correct and not express my true feelings of how our great system caused this. 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. RIP young lady. my nick name for her."

Jarreau's attorney says he will make the trip to Jacksonville from California for her funeral.

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nativejax - 6/25/2013 6:30 PM
2 Votes
I absolutely feel WE ALL are failing these children. That WE ALL could just remember and realize, a child is a child, no matter who they come from or what their circumstances are. It breaks my heart every time a child is murdered and I wish I knew what to do to stop it all...right now.

FLCracker92 - 6/25/2013 2:51 PM
1 Vote
SMH that Mommy Dearest's boyfriend has the audacity to show himself on TV... if HE had been providing for his two kids and their mother like he should have, then maybe she wouldn't have thought she had the need or been so tempted to fall for the promise of free stuff that ultimately ended up with the death of Mr. Jarreau's daughter. Furthermore Adam should be livid that the mother of his children got into a strange man's vehicle with his kids in tow, instead of trying to besmirch the father of the dead child that has LEGAL PROOF that he wanted to have custody of and care for the child ... so pound sand Adam Peabrain or whatever your name is... by the looks of it you are just as stellar of a parent as Mommy Dearest is. And for heaven's sake, why couldn't he sit still during that interview instead of bouncing up and down like a monkey all jacked up on mountain dew...?? Hmmmm....

tkperna - 6/25/2013 1:06 PM
2 Votes
How many children have to suffer because the court systems here automatically assume the mother is the better choice. The judge definetly bears some responsibility. She should have judged the custodial parent based on which parent would provide the child with stability and security.

TinaHenson - 6/25/2013 12:37 PM
2 Votes
The school did not release the records. The called the child's father, probably when they could reach the mother, who had stranded her at the school. The father needs to sue the mother, if only for a dollar, for wrongful death. Yes the sicko was responsible but the mother was as well. This man tried his tricks on another mother and she knew better. The father deserves to grieve in his own way and if that means bringing attention to a Judge/court that gave custody to a mother because she didn't have the money to see the child if she was able to go live a better life somewhere else, then let him. The piecce of crap boyfriend needs to shut his mouth. I don't believe for a second that Cherishes father wanted his lazy ass to adopt his daughter if he didn't even want her in that sick, sad environment they live in. Rayne's boyfriend Adham (?) Pearson does need to go straight to hell because he's the cold, disgusting one but he might have just been doing Rayne's dirty work by saying that dumb mess.

Ichabod - 6/25/2013 12:09 PM
2 Votes
Judge McCallum should share the responsibility in this case as well. She abandoned what would be best for the child and threw herself into a transportation problem that the mother may or may not have had. There are ongoing cases with Judge McCallum that she takes her leisurly time to make a judgement and it is seriously flawed.

wsprja - 6/25/2013 10:51 AM
2 Votes
challis ?

cheriamour - 6/25/2013 8:01 AM
3 Votes
It would have been better for Duval County Public Schools to provide this family with information about transportation options or about head lice prevention instead of publishing these records while the family is grieving. The community would benefit from knowing about the delighful personality that Cherish dispayed at school instead of this unsolicited information. Education should always be the priority of the education system. This family was neglected in many ways. Hopefully the father will consider this opportunity to celebrate the life of his child instead of continuing to focus on the custody that is now out of the control of mankind.
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