SARASOTA, Fla. — Tawana Spann says her family is dealing with a lot of pain after deputies in Manatee County discovered the remains of her son, Jabez Spann. The 14-year-old hadn't been seen since 2017.
According to police, the skeletal remains of the teenager were found Saturday around 4:30 p.m. Police said a man called 911 after finding the remains along a fence line where he was working.
Family members confirmed to ABC Action News that his remains were found in a field of off Canal Rd. in Palmetto. Tawana Spann said the family is heartbroken by the news.
"We thought we were prepared, but I guess that’s not something you can get prepared for,” said Tawana Spann.
Police used dental records to identify the remains.
"It’s unknown how long those skeletal remains were at the location, where they were located, or if they were transported there from somewhere else," said Sarasota Deputy Chief Patrick Robinson.
Sarasota PD said the investigation is still active and would not give specifics as to where exactly the body was found. Manatee County Sheriff's Office is also working the case, as the remains were found in their jurisdiction. Police say a witness named Reginald Parker witnessed a murder on Aug. 28, 2017 and that he saw Jabez Spann at the scene during the incident.
"We are not going to speculate, at this moment, as to the connection to any other crime. This will be handled on its merits alone," Robinson said. "We’ll be going back and basically starting from the beginning scouring our case files to ensure every lead, every tip was followed up on, everything was handled a hundred percent. We are going to run this thing to the end."
The family continued holding onto hope that Jabez would be found alive.
"We got some closure, we are going to put him to peace and lay him to rest, but I’m not done,” said Tawana Spann.