Published Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | 2:31 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | 2:31 a.m.
STARKE, Fla. (AP) — The father of a 9-year-old South Florida boy raped and murdered in 1995 says he hopes the killer's execution sends a strong signal to other would-be child molesters and abductors.
Don Ryce's son Jimmy Ryce was kidnapped at gunpoint after getting off a school bus in September 1995.
He spoke Wednesday night after 46-year-old Juan Carlos Chavez was executed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison.
Ryce's parents turned the tragedy's pain into a push for stronger U.S. laws regarding confinement of sexual predators and improved police procedures in missing child cases. Their foundation provided hundreds of free canines to law enforcement agencies to aid in searches for children.