Jabez Spann laid to rest in Sarasota

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Family and friends said their goodbyes to Jabez Spann on Saturday as he was laid to rest at a cemetery in Sarasota.

Spann was reported missing in September 2017. Authorities recovered his remains in late February along a fence in rural Manatee County, near Interstate 75. His cause of death has not been made public and the case remains unsolved. 

On Tuesday, Spann’s remains were returned to his family. On Saturday, he was laid to rest at the Palms Memorial Park Cemetery next to his mother’s father. 

“It’s been really surreal, today it makes it very concrete for me,” said his mother, Tawana Spann.

Jabez was remembered as an energetic young man with a lot to live for.

“We’re going to create that awareness because a lot of parents think this can’t be them, this won’t happen to them. They come home and hug and kiss their children every day,” said Tawana Spann’s fiance, Ivy Joe Butler. 

The service was held on National Missing Children’s Day. 

“We’re going to just continue to try and make sure that we can prevent this happening anymore for other people,” said Tawana Spann who founded the Jabez Spann Foundation to help families with missing loved ones.

“It doesn’t matter who you are this can happened to anybody, any type of family.”


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