Crime

Police not ready to say there is a link between homicide and teen’s disappearance

Jabez Spann, 14, has been missing since Sept. 4. Police reports say that he is witnessed the murder of Travis Combs on Aug. 28. He disappeared a week later.
Jabez Spann, 14, has been missing since Sept. 4. Police reports say that he is witnessed the murder of Travis Combs on Aug. 28. He disappeared a week later. Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

Sarasota police continue to investigate possible links between a homicide and the disappearance of a 14-year-old boy.

Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said that reports detailing the two cases had not been released earlier because her department is still investigating “all avenues.”

“I’m hoping someone in our community knows something about both these cases. We’re asking our community to come forward with information to help us bring Jabez Spann home and bring justice to Travis Combs’ family,” DiPino said. “From the beginning of both these investigations, our detectives have been working tirelessly to bring peace to both of these families.”

The Sarasota Police Department said that it is “not discounting any possible connections between the two cases,” while they continue to seek new information.

The Bradenton Herald previously reported that Jabez witnessed a homicide a week before he went missing.

On Aug. 28, Reginald Parker, 55, witnessed the slaying of Travis Combs, according to police reports. About a month later, police interviewed Parker, who said that he saw Jabez Spann at the scene as well.

The perpetrators fired one shot at 31-year-old Combs, whose body was discovered in a grass field in the 1600 block of 22nd Street, and drove off in his vehicle.

Reginald Parker
Reginald Parker, 55, witnessed the murder of Travis Combs, as well. He told investigators that Jabez also witnessed the murder, and said “Oh my God. Y’all shot him.” Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

Parker told investigators he heard Jabez say “Oh my God. Y’all shot him,” before he fled the area. He went missing a week later.

Jabez, 14, was last seen in the area of 22nd Street in Sarasota on Sept. 4. He was wearing a turquoise shirt and is a black male who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds.

There is a $25,000 reward for information related to the case. Anyone with information about Jabez’s whereabouts may contact the Sarasota Police Department at 941-316-1201 or Sarasota Crime Stoppers by calling 941-361-8477, or by going online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

Ryan Callihan: 941-745-7095, @RCCallihan

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