Who killed Jabez Spann? Police still seeking answers in teen's disappearance, death 5 years later

Sarasota police are still trying to piece together what happened to a Sarasota teen who was found dead in 2019 after he was last seen alive at a Labor Day party two years earlier.

Fourteen-year-old Jabez Spann disappeared from a family barbeque on 22nd Street in Sarasota in September 2017. 

His remains were found in rural Manatee County in February 2019.

"You go to bed every night wondering when you wake up the next day is somebody going to come around and say well so and so did this to Jabez," Lucille Tillery, Spann’s grandmother told FOX 13 in a previous interview.

Court records showed he may have witnessed a murder the week before his disappearance. 

The documents show Spann listed as a witness to the murder of 31-year-old Travis Combs on August 28. Combs was found with one gunshot wound to the upper torso in a grassy lot near 22nd Street and North Orange Avenue.

Another witness, later charged as an accessory after the fact, allegedly said he saw Spann walk out of a house nearby as the shooting happened.

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"They throw my grandson side of the road like he was a piece of trash like he didn’t have no family, like nobody cares about him, I’m here to tell you today this is a sorry community," said Tillery.

"You want us to get out there and say Black lives matter, sure Black lives matter but what about the kids getting killed in our community by our own Blacks? Their lives matter too," she previously shared.

"I'm asking God from my heart if he ever did anything in my life and I believe in him, I want him to give us them killers. Anybody that can kill a child is capable of killing anybody," Tillery added.

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In a post on its Facebook page Saturday morning, the Sarasota Police Department stated, "This case remains an active, open, and ongoing investigation. We’re continuing to ask for information in this death investigation. We’ve said it from the beginning and we will say it again. We believe someone in our community knows something. Someone knows what happened to Jabez." 

Anyone with information about Spann's case can send information anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 941-366-8477. 

There is a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.