Children discover human remains in Sarasota, police say remains are not those of Jabez Spann

Posted at 4:39 PM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-17 18:34:26-04

SARASOTA, Fla — The Sarasota Police Department is currently investigating after human remains were discovered in Sarasota.

The remains were found in 1900 block of Gillespie Avenue on Monday afternoon by children playing in the area, according to Sarasota Police.

The Dive Team, Criminal Investigations Division and Crime Scene Technicians have all been called to the scene to help with the investigation.

The family of 14-year-old Jabez Spann has also arrived at the scene. Spann has been missing since September 2017. Investigators believe he may have witnessed a murder.

"I want him back alive," Jabez Spann's aunt said. "But, right now he’s been gone seven months. We know something terrible has happened to a 14-year-old child. If it is him we will have closure we are suffering now not knowing what happened to him."

On Tuesday, Sarasota police announced that the remains found were not those of Jabez Spann. The human remains that were found were a skull and a femur bone. There is no evidence to support foul play in this case, according to police. 

Neighbors are hoping to find out the person's identity soon.

"Whatever happened it's just unsettling we are hoping for closure, said neighbor Destiny Ortiz.

ABC Action News talked to the group of children that made the grisly discovery. They said they play in that canal all the time catching turtles. For several months they said they noticed bones but thought they were from an animal. On Monday, they said they saw a human skull in a shallow part of the canal where they always play. They said they called for an adult who called 911. 

There is a still a $50,000 reward for information that helps investigators solve the Jabez Spann case.

You can call 911 or 941-366-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.