Family seeks closure as Sarasota teen’s murder goes unsolved five years later

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sunday marked five years since 14-year-old Jabez Spann disappeared. The Sarasota Police Department is still looking for whoever is responsible for the murder of the teen.

Jabez’s mother said the subject of his death is still very difficult for her family. At this point, she said, she just wants answers.

“I want the story of a little boy that made bad choices and from his bad choices someone mad a fate that was crucial to all of us,” Tawana Spann-Butler said.

There is still very little information known about Jabez’ death.

“It was better at the beginning, because you just knew something was going to happen but as the time goes by it gets a little bit more frustrating,” Spann-Butler said.

She said justice isn’t at the top of her mind anymore. “In those moments, his last moments was he given a chance to be redeemed, you know. Those questions are what’s lurking inside of me more then even someone being put away.”

According to his family, Jabez may have witnessed the murder of Travis Combs before he disappeared. Authorities said his remains were found a year and a half later in a rural area of Manatee County back in February of 2019. “For those who had pieces of the story, they should’ve said something,” Spann-Butler said.

Sarasota Police are asking anyone with information to immediately call them. There is a $50,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

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