MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The family of Don Ryce, the father of murdered Jimmy Ryce, who was in hospice care Friday night announced he died Saturday morning from natural causes.

Don Ryce was 76 years old.

Don and Claudine Ryce were thrust into the spotlight after their son Jimmy was abducted from a bus stop near his South Miami-Dade home 25 years ago.

An attorney who specialized in arbitration, Don became a crusader for missing children. He fought for passage of the Jimmy Ryce Act, which allows sexual predators to be detained through civil commitment after they have served their criminal sentences.

The husband and wife created a legacy in his name with the Jimmy Ryce Foundation, which funds bloodhounds for police agencies, to help in the search for missing children.

A statement released by the family, read in part:

“His last words to us were, Keep the Jimmy Ryce Center going.”

Donations in Don’s memory can be made to the Jimmy Ryce Center at jimmyryce.org

Funeral plans are pending.

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