The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office has announced a $50,000 reward for information about an unsolved DeLand murder from 1994.
Fifteen-year-old Laralee Spears was killed that year on April 25, on her way home from school. Her body was found near an abandoned home not far from her own home on Deerfoot Road on DeLand’s southwest side.
Laralee had gotten off the school bus on Spring Garden Avenue and was seen walking toward home. Two hours later, her body was found by police.
In a video released online by the Volusia Sheriff’s Office, Ginny Bussell, Spears’ sister, begged for anyone with information to help.
“Just tell something, even if you think it’s the most useless piece of information, just speak up,” she said in the video, posted online April 25. “One little thing can make a world of difference, can bring peace to Laralee; can bring us hope and closure.”
The Sheriff’s Office is working with the FBI to investigate new technology that could be employed to solve the 27-year-old case.
“No family deserves to experience what Laralee’s family has been through for all these years,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said in a statement. “If anyone out there has information that could help bring this innocent girl’s killer or killers to justice, now is the time to clear your conscience and come forward.”
The Sheriff’s Office is offering $50,000 for information that leads to a conviction. The money, the Sheriff’s Office said, comes from forfeiture funds.
Anyone with information in this case is asked to contact the Major Case Unit via email at ColdCaseUnitTips@vcso.us or 386-254-1537.