The Associated Press
2:17 PM EDT, April 11, 2009
The father of Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl whose abduction and murder prompted better tracking of sex offenders and harsher punishment for repeat offenders, says he has a new child.
The Ocala Star-Banner reported Saturday that Mark Lunsford revealed in an interview this week that his girlfriend gave birth to a boy on Oct. 6, 2007 -- 12 years to the day after Jessica's birth.
Mark Lunsford says he took the new birth as a sign that God was giving him a second chance at being a father. He tried to keep it a secret to shield the infant from the spotlight.
John Evander Couey, a repeat sex offender, was convicted in Jessica's 2005 murder and sentenced to death.