SARASOTA, Fla — The Sarasota Police Department is currently investigating after human remains were discovered.
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."
Police have not said there is any connection yet between this discovery and Spann. The remains will need to be identified using DNA or dental records. Law enforcement say that could take several weeks.
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.
"Not a day goes by we don’t think about him," Jakes said. "Not a day goes by we don’t cry, not a day goes by, you just hurt constantly, it don’t go away."
There is a still a $50,000 reward for information that helps investigators solve this case.
You can call 911 or 941-366-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.
We're conducting an investigation after human remains were located in the 1900 blk of Gillespie Avenue, #Sarasota. Dive Team, Criminal Investigations & Crime Scene Techs are on scene. Identifying human remains can take time. We're working diligently to identify the individual. pic.twitter.com/lVX8WKr30W
— SarasotaPD (@sarasotapd) April 16, 2018