Missing teen Jabez Spann may have witnessed murder week before he disappeared

Jabez Spann

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — New paperwork says a missing teenager from Sarasota may have witnessed a murder one week before he disappeared.

Jabez Spann, 14, was last seen on Sept. 4 at a family Labor Day barbecue in the area of 23rd Street. Sarasota police, the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have been trying to figure out what happened to him since that day.

According to a newly-released affidavit, Spann may have witnessed the murder of 31-year-old Travis Combs on Aug. 28 – about one week before he disappeared without a trace.

“The Sarasota Police Department continues to investigate all avenues regarding these two cases,” a statement from police said. “Both cases and their possible connections to one another remain under investigation.  They are both active cases.  The Sarasota Police Department is not discounting any possible connections between the two cases and continue to seek additional information and leads in both cases.”

The document states 55-year-old Reginald Parker told three people, including two of Spann’s family members, that he witnessed Combs’ murder. Parker also told two of them that he saw Spann at the scene when the murder happened, according to the paperwork.

The affidavit says Parker told one person that he witnessed three men surround Combs and his car the night of the murder, and heard a single gunshot. Parker told the person he then saw two men run away and said the third drove away in Combs’ car. He also told the person he saw Spann.

Parker then told a second person he witnessed Combs’ murder, and told that person that he saw Spann walking out of a home near the scene when it happened.

According to the paperwork, Parker said he heard Spann yell “Oh my God. Y’all shot him.” Parker says he then left the scene.

All three people who Parker spoke with provided statements to detectives about what Parker claimed he saw and heard the night of the murder. Parker was later arrested on a warrant for failure to appear, but denied his statements and denied he witnessed the murder. Parker has since been charged with accessory after the fact to the murder of Combs.

Back in September, Spann’s mother, aunt and grandmother attended a news conference with police, begging for answers about what happened to the teenager.

Since his disappearance, volunteers have spent time spreading the word and searching through the woods, trying to piece together clues.

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information about what happened to Spann.


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