Teen Last Seen on Labor Day May Have Witnessed Murder

There have been some odd twists in the case of Jabez Spann
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2017 1:22 AM CST
Missing Boy May Have Witnessed Murder
Jabez Spann   (Sarasota Police Deparment)

A Florida teenager who has been missing since Labor Day may have witnessed a murder a week before he vanished, according to a newly surfaced police report. The report seen by the Herald-Tribune states that 14-year-old Jabez Spann was leaving a home in Sarasota on Aug. 28 at the same time three men chased Travis Combs, 31, into a vacant lot and shot him dead. The police document states that Spann said: "Oh my God. Y'all shot him." Spann, who attended a candlelit vigil for Combs, was last seen at a family barbecue Sept. 4, per ABC 7. A $25,000 reward is being offered for information on his whereabouts, and relatives have been pleading for help finding the boy and getting "closure." The Combs murder is still unsolved.

The police document states that Lucille Tillery, the teen's grandmother and guardian, told investigators that 55-year-old Reginald Parker said he witnessed the murder and saw Spann leave the home, per ABC 7. Parker changed his story after being jailed for an unrelated matter and was charged as an accessory to the Combs murder for allegedly impeding the investigation. In a strange twist, Sarasota Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie—acting as a private attorney—intervened in late September after police became aware that a local pastor might have information about the Combs murder, reports the Herald Tribune. Records state that Freeland Eddie wrote to police and prosecutors, saying pastor Kelvin Lumpkin would invoke "pastoral privilege" and refuse to answer any questions from investigators. (More missing child stories.)

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