SARASOTA, Fla. — Authorities announced Tuesday night that the remains of a Florida teenager missing since 2017 have been found in Manatee County.
Then 14-year-old Jabez Spann went missing on Sept. 4, 2017 in Sarasota. Police say he may have witnessed a murder.
According to police the skeletal remains were found Saturday around 4:30 p.m. Police said a man called 911 after finding the remains along a fence line where he was working.
"Dental records were a match," Sarasota Police Deputy Chief Patrick Robinson said. "It’s unknown how long those skeletal remains were at the location, where they were located, or if they were transported there from somewhere else."
Sarasota PD says the investigation is still active and would not give specifics as to where exactly the body was found. Manatee County Sheriff's Office is also working the case, as the remains were found in their jurisdiction.
Police say a witness named Reginald Parker witnessed a murder on Aug. 28, 2017 and that he saw a juvenile, Jabez Spann at the scene during the incident.
"We are not going to speculate, at this moment, as to the connection to any other crime. This will be handled on its merits alone," Robinson said. "We’ll be going back and basically starting from the beginning scouring our case files to ensure every lead, every tip was followed up on, everything was handled a hundred percent. We are going to run this thing to the end."
According to the department, detectives met with Lucille Tillery, Spann's grandmother, on Nov. 6, at which time she told police that Parker came to her home to say that he witnessed the murder.
Parker reportedly said he also saw Jabez Spann and two others coming out of a residence during the incident, and that he heard a gunshot, and heard Spann yell "Oh my God. Y'all shot him."
The family continued holding onto hope Jabez would've been found alive. They were too distraught to comment about the recent break in the case.