On Sunday, members of the Sarasota community searched for missing teen Jabez Spann.
The 14-year-old went missing on Sept. 4 and his family and authorities are concerned for his safety.
For hours, volunteers waded through thick brush in Sarasota hoping to find any sign of Spann or what may have happened to him.
“Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, we were a tight community and things like this we didn’t see happen, so it bothers me that this is happening in the community that I grew up in,” said Wayne Washington, who organized Sunday’s search.
Many of the volunteers never meet Spann but wanted to help his family members, who they know are in so much pain.
“There’s a child missing,” said Jane Hoefling. “Black, white, Hispanic, we all as Sarasotians need to come together and work together. This is just a child that needs out help.”
Spann, who has been missing for nearly a month, was last seen in the area of 22nd Street.
Since then, his family has desperately been searching for him. His aunt, Latohya Jakes, said she’s thankful for any support they can get to help find him.
“It’s heartbreaking and you know it hurts real bad because … the hardest thing I’ve had to do is actually search for one of my relatives,” she said.
There still hasn’t been new development in Spann’s case. The family has pleaded with the public to come forward, a message they echoed Sunday.
“Everybody has the right to be afraid, but it’s also an anonymous hotline,” Jakes said. “You ain’t got to tell nobody just pick up the phone. This is a child.”
For now, community leaders say they’ll keep searching, hoping that something like this never happens again.
“We want to let these kids know that we’re not tolerating it we’re not tolerating that and that’s why we’re here today to let them know we do care,” Washington said.
The Sarasota Police Department is offering a $6,000 reward for any information that leads to Spann’s whereabouts.