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Memorial held for 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle

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Updated: 6/23/2013 11:19 pm
JACKSONVILLE Fla. -- A growing memorial outside Highlands Baptist Church, where 8-year old Cherish Perrywinkle's body was found Saturday, has nearly doubled its size since over 24 hours.

Teddy-bears, balloons, flowers and notes written innocently in marker by Cherish's friends are slowly piling on the lawn.

7-year old Jolee Conway, who calls Cherish her "best friend" left Cherish a note.

"I love you Cherish and I really miss you," she said, reading the card she made her friend out of construction paper.

Most who contributed to Cherish's memorial tell Action News they never even met her.

Highlands Baptist Church member Michael Orsini prayed over the memorial before attending his regular morning service.

"She's with God now she's in heaven," he said.

Like most of the congregation at Highlands Baptist, Orsini says his faith has been tested.

"If it was my child, I don't know if I could forgive him," he said. "God says you got to forgive and forget but when something like this happens you don't know how you'll react."

Pastor Arthur Taylor planned all day for a prayer service and vigil to help comfort his congregation and remember Cherish.

"It's just one of those terrible events that you wish hasn't happened but it does happen and at this point it's not what happened its what we can do to minister to the family and the community,"

A community now clings to each other in search of answers, how something so horrible to someone so innocent.

"I was thinking about my daughter thinking about if it would have been her and just wanting to cry," said Orsini.
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