SARASOTA, Fla. — The remains of a teen who hasn't been seen for more than a year were found near Interstate 75 in Manatee County, authorities confirm.

Sarasota police delivered the "heartbreaking" news to the family late Tuesday regarding Jabez Spann, who last was seen Sept. 4, 2017, in the area of 22nd Street and Palamadelia Avenue in Sarasota.

Spann's skeletal remains were found around 4:30 p.m. Saturday by a person working a fence line west of I-75 in a rural area of Manatee County. They were confirmed using dental records.

Police would not give the exact location, and it is not known how long the remains were there.

"We'd like to thank the Spann family for being patient with us and being partners with us while we conducted this investigation," Sarasota Police Department Deputy Chief of Police Patrick Robinson said. "As you can imagine, this is a tremendous loss to their family and our community."

Family said Spann might have witnessed a murder of 31-year-old Travis Combs before he disappeared.

He was 14 years old at the time of his disappearance. Spann now would be 16 years old.

A $50,000 reward had been offered for Spann's return, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Police said they will work with the agency to determine how the reward will be dispersed.

Police said the investigation is continuing, but instead of a missing person investigation, it is a death investigation.

 Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Megan Buck or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online here.

RELATED: Sarasota teen Jabez Spann has been missing for 1 year

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