Jabez Spann, 14, was reported missing on Sept. 5, 2017, and the police said on Tuesday that his “skeletal remains” were found at the weekend.
(Sarasota Police Department)
SARASOTA, Florida. – The police has the remains of a 14-year-old Florida boy who went missing more than a year and a half ago after witnessing a murder.
Deputy police chief Patrick Robinson with the Sarasota Police Department said during a press conference on Tuesday that the search for Jabez Spann came to an end Saturday when the teenager’s skeletal remains were discovered in a rural area west of Interstate 75.
Robinson said the Team identity was confirmed using dental records.
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“I can’t speculate, nor will I speculate on how long the body is in that location, but I can tell you it was completely … skeletonized,” he told reporters.
Robinson said a individual repair of a fence along the highway is the remains around 4:30 a.m. and called 911. While he would not give an exact location due to the ongoing investigation, Robinson did say that it is in a rural area in Manatee County, an area the Team was not known to frequent.
“We do not believe that at this point that he left Sarasota under its own will and went to the Manatee County, where his body was found.”
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Spann was reported missing on Sept. 5, 2017, by a family member. He was last seen the day before, leaving a meeting and going to the house of a friend.
Initially, police treated the investigation as a missing person case, but Robinson said that with the body is found, the case is turning to a criminal case.
He said when the police were looking at a possible murder case. Reports came months after the Team’s disappearance, so that he witnessed a murder a week before disappearing.
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“We’re not going to speculate at this time as for the connection to another crime. This will be dealt with on the basis of merit only,” Robinson said.
A police report obtained by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in November 2017, said the Team saw three men chasing 31-year-old Travis Combs in a field near his house and fatally shooting him.
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The Herald-Tribune reported that the Team was seen at a wake for Combs on Sept. 4.