Remains of missing Sarasota teen Jabez Spann found in Manatee County

The remains of missing Sarasota teen Jabez Spann have been recovered from a rural part of Manatee County, Sarasota police said late Tuesday.

Sarasota police Deputy Chief Pat Robinson announced at a news conference that remains were found about 4:30 p.m. in Manatee County west of Interstate 75. A dental expert and the medical examiner’s office on Tuesday confirmed they were Spann’s remains, police said.

Robinson declined to be more specific about where the remains were found because investigators continue to comb the scene for evidence. He said the remains were found by someone who was repairing a fence.

The FBI and other officials said in November 2017 that Spann had witnessed the slaying of 31-year-old Travis Combs on Aug. 28, 2017, about a week before he was last seen.

Robinson said police did not have a person of interest in Spann’s disappearance and death.

Robinson, who said police were currently treating the case as a death investigation, said they did not know how long the remains had been at the location or if they had been moved there from somewhere else.

Spann, 14, was last seen on Sept. 4, 2017, in the area of 22nd Street in Sarasota.

Also at the news conference was Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells.

Robinson encouraged anyone with information about what might have happened to Spann to step forward.

This is a developing news story; check back for updates.

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Ryan Ballogg covers arts, entertainment, dining, breaking and local news for the Bradenton Herald. He won first place for feature writing in the Florida Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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