Remains of a Floria teen who allegedly witnessed a brutal killing in 2017 have been discovered. The “fully skeletonized” remains of 14-year-old Jabez Spann were discovered in a field in Manatee County on Saturday, according to the Sarasota police.
“This is a tremendous loss to their family and our community,” Sarasota Deputy Chief of Police Pat Robinson said in a statement which was released on Tuesday night.
According to the New York Post, Jabez Spann was a star football player and vanished on September 4, 2017. It is believed that prior to his disappearance he may have witnessed the brutal killing of 31-year-old Travis Combs a week earlier while walking home.
Spann was last seen at a family gathering which occurred approximately 30 miles from the location where his remains were found. His body was found on Saturday by a worker who was present to repair fences in the area. The area in which his body was located is described as rural. And, while within close proximity to a road, the closest houses are described as derelict and deserted.
Due to the eroded nature of his remains, a forensic odontologist used dental records to identify the victim, according to the Bradenton Herald.
No details regarding the teen’s death have been reported yet. However, the police are treating it as a homicide. NBC News also reports that police are not sure yet if Spann died at the location he was discovered at or if his body was transported there at some point after his death.
The police are also urging people who may know something about the case to come forward.
Dual news conference with Sarasota Police & @ManateeSheriff will be held at 9pm at SPD HQs to discuss new developments in the disappearance of #JabezSpann. Spann, 14 years old, was last seen in the area of 22nd St, on September 4, 2017. No other info will be released until then pic.twitter.com/xCyEjCbGQL
— SarasotaPD (@SarasotaPD) February 20, 2019
“We’ve always felt that there are individuals in our community that are scared to come forward,” Deputy Chief of Police Pat Robinson said. “The folks that did it, we believe, are from our community.”
Spann’s mother, Tawana Spann, also implored people to come forward with any information they might have as she expressed her grief over the discovery of her son on her Facebook account on Wednesday.
“Somebody knows what happened. Look at his face and see that he needs your help. This is not over its just changed from missing case to a death. What a beautiful child that you took.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Jabez’s mother has always suspected foul play regarding her son’s disappearance.
Tawana also spoke to NBC News about the development in her son’s case.
“This has been a straight roller coaster,” she said. “I close the chapter of him being missing and open the chapter of him being murdered.”