The Governor's Office announced Thursday an execution date for the convicted killer of a nine-year-old Miami-Dade boy.

Juan Carlos Chavez, 46, is scheduled to be put to death on Feb. 12 for the Sept. 11, 1995 armed abduction, sexual battery and murder of Samuel James "Jimmy" Ryce, said Melissa Sellers, the communications director for Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

In a statement, the victim's father Don Ryce said, in part, "I just received the news that justice will finally be done in the murder of my son, Jimmy. I feel a combination of sadness and relief. I hope this sends a message to predators that this behavior will not go unpunished."

Jimmy Ryce was dropped off by his school bus about a block from his home in Redland. Chavez abducted him at gunpoint and ordered Jimmy into a truck. Chavez drove Jimmy back to his trailer where he ordered the child to remove his clothes and then sexually battered him, according to the arrest report. Chavez held Jimmy captive for more than three hours before fatally shooting the boy when he tried to escape. Two days after the murder, Chavez dismembered Jimmy's body, filled three planters with Jimmy's remains, and sealed the planters with concrete, the report stated.

Chavez was arrested three months later after Jimmy's book bag was found in the trailer. He was convicted Sept. 18, 1998, and sentenced to death Nov. 23, 1998. His appeals to the Florida Supreme Court and federal Court of Appeals were denied, records showed.

Governor Scott signed the death warrant Thursday.

During the exhaustive search for their son, Don and Claudine Ryce launched a vigorous crusade on behalf of missing and abducted children that took them to the White House for a meeting with President Clinton. He would sign an Executive Order allowing pictures of missing children to be made public.

Claudine Ryce would not live to see her son's killer executed. She died of a heart attack in January 2009. Jimmy's half-sister Martha Ryce, 35, died Dec. 30, 2012. Don Ryce was expected to speak publicly at his Vero Beach home Friday about the scheduled execution of Chavez.

wkroustan@tribune.com or 954-356-4303