Family of fatal bonfire fight victim speaks out | News
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A local family speaks out Monday the first time after their son was beaten to death at a bonfire party in Jacksonville on Friday.
"My son got killed by a human being's hands, and that's what I wanted the world to know, by hands," said Linda Ford, mother of Ryan Scott Ford.
Linda Ford is heartbroken. As a mother, she is trying to figure out why her son was beaten to death at a bonfire party last Friday.
"There was never an ounce of meanness in that kid, you know. You'd never see him mad or anything, you know he loved people and they loved him," said Ford.
But Ryan Scott Ford was caught in the middle of several fights that started in the woods at the 14500 block of Old St. Augustine Road. His family says bonfires were his passion, and they are devastated that a fun event turned deadly.
"I am suffering really bad because I have lost my pride and joy," said Ford.
At 19 years old, Ford was the youngest of three siblings. His family said he loved the outdoors. A section of their backyard is even called Ryan's World, because that's where he always was and he even held his own bonfires there.
Ford was a senior at Pedro Menendez High School in St. Augustine, and his family says he was undecided about what he wanted to do after high school, but was excited about a new opportunity he called to tell his Dad about that Friday night.
"He talked about it for a long time with him. He was just real excited about this new job, he was getting to help this guy rebuild a car and he was really excited about that," said Ford.
Ford's family said he had many plans, but they were all taken away by a violent act. Now they are asking witnesses to step up.
"Anyone have any information on some of these other boys, I would like for them to come forward, yea I would like for them to come forward with any information. They have destroyed this family," said Ford.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
The family is inviting Ryan's friends and the public to the funeral and church services.
The memorial is going to be at St. Johns Funeral Home on County Road 207 on Wednesday from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
A service will be held at Anastasia Baptist Church on Thursday at 11 a.m.