JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A father who understands what its like to suffer the loss of a child is now reaching out to others dealing with a similar tragedy.
Thursday afternoon, the family of 6-year-old Christopher Barrios discovered that their beloved child was dead; his body found just miles from his Georgia home.
Friday morning, Mark Lunsford made a call to the Barrios family to offer his support. Lunsford is the father of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford who was murdered two years ago by sex offender John Couey.
Both Jessica and Christopher won the hearts of the public with their smiles. But many hearts broke when it was determined each of the children had been murdered. And though the crimes occurred years apart, in both cases their bodies were found close to home, and police arrested a neighbor who was also a registered sex offender.
Jessica's killer, John Couey, was sentenced to lethal injection on Wednesday, two years after her death.
Mark Gelman, an attorney for Mark Lunsford, says Lunsford was angry to hear Christopher Barrios' story.
[Mark] called them and said if there's anything that he or the Jessica Lunsford Foundation could do to help, that he would be there, Gelman said. He knows what this family is going through and he can be there to help them through the process.
Reaching out is now Mark Lunsford's new purpose in life.
[Mark] realizes that he can't save his daughter, but he can save tens of thousands of other kids, Gelman said. He's not going to stop until every child in this country has a better opportunity and these child predators are in jail where they belong.
In a few weeks, Lunsford is headed to Washington D.C. with Ed Smart, Mark Klaas and other parents whose children have been victimized by sexual predators. While in Washington, they plan to lobby for three new laws.
One would go after people who make child pornography. Another would make the prosecution of sex offenders more public and another would fund more law enforcement to track sex offenders.
Sherrice, Jonbenet, Dylan, Cynteria, Carlie, Tyra, Riley..7 little children, lest we forget, they were taken from our midst