Sheriff orders review of delay in Cherish Perrywinkle alert
By The Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida sheriff has ordered an internal investigation into the five-hour delay in notifying the public about Cherish Perrywinkle's abduction.
Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford says a failure in the chain of command is to blame for the hours that passed between police learning about the 8-year-old girl's abduction from a Walmart and the first public notification about the case.
The girl's mother alerted authorities around 11 p.m. Friday. Authorities did not issue any public alerts about the abduction or suspect Donald James Smith until about five hours later.
Rutherford tells The Florida Times-Union that it appears that proper staff notifications were not made in this case.
Authorities say Cherish was targeted by Smith, a registered sex offender who had been released from jail May 31.