Police think teen's disappearance linked to unsolved murder

- Christmas decorations would normally hang from a Sarasota home on 23rd Street. Instead, a No. 3 football jersey hangs outside.

It's a somber reminder of what's missing inside - 14-year-old Jabez Spann who has been missing for more than three months.

"No one has been in the holiday spirit because we want to bring him home," said Jabez's aunt, Latohya Jakes.

Her family has been ripped apart by Jabez' disappearance. He hasn't been seen since Labor Day.

Since then, his family has organized searches and put out pleas for his return.

"I feel like individuals don't care because it's not their situation. It's not their problem, it's not their child," she said. 

Now they're hoping an increased reward of $50,000 offered by the FBI, FDLE, and Sarasota Police Department will lead them to Jabez.

They believe he went missing after witnessing a murder in his neighborhood.

"I know he was down there because he went down the street to get a soda. I do believe it's connected, but we have to figure out how," said Latohya.

According to a police affidavit, a witness said he saw the teenager at the scene the night Travis Combs was murdered. Jabez disappeared one week later and Comb's murder remains unsolved.

Detectives with the Sarasota Police department say they are receiving tips and they are investigating each and every one, but so far no solid leads have turned up.

"Right now it's been too long. We somewhat fear the worst," said Latohya. 

While they're fearing the worst they're praying for a miracle and holding out hope that someone will come forward with the information they so desperately want.

"God just please bring him home. Come home," she said. 

The FBI is contributing $44,000 to the reward, the FDLE is contributing $5,000, and the Sarasota Police Department is contributing $1,000. Anyone with information is asked to call Sarasota Crime Stoppers at 941-366-TIPS, and can remain anonymous.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Police think teen's disappearance linked to unsolved murder
  • Iowa man faces DUI manslaughter after crashing into victim loading bike on PSTA bus
  • Car crash on dark Auburndale road kills two pedestrians, police say
  • Man killed while loading bike on Pinellas County bus
  • Man arrested after attempting to steal truck with teen inside
  • Volunteer hopes photos help Pasco pets find forever homes
  • Car fire on I-275 near Bearss Avenue
  • Tarpon Springs man kills father, calls 911 to report shooting, police say
  • Mother taking action to keep daughter's memory alive
  • Veteran celebrates milestone birthday on Veterans Day