VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Sunday marks 27 years since a 15-year-old DeLand student was found murdered, and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is upping the reward for information that could lead to an arrest.
Investigators said 15-year-old Laralee Spear, a DeLand High School student, was sexually assaulted and killed shortly after getting off her school bus on April 25, 1994. She was found just 200 yards from her home on Deerfoot Road outside DeLand.
The reward has been increased to $50,000, double the amount offered by the sheriff’s office just one month ago.
Spear’s mother reported her missing around 4:05 p.m., about 50 minutes after the 15-year-old girl got off the school bus. Deputies arrived minutes after and found her body near a burned-down house around 5:35 p.m.
“We do have forensic evidence there that as time goes by, DNA improves, the technology improves but there are people who know who that was, too,” Chitwood said in March.
The sheriff’s office also released a video to help generate interest in the case and hopefully receive critical information.
If you lived here in 1994, you remember Laralee Spear. @SheriffChitwood today announced a $50K reward for info leading to the arrest & conviction of the person(s) responsible for killing Laralee after she got off her school bus outside DeLand. She was 15.https://t.co/0wcMYgZyG1— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) April 25, 2021
“No family deserves to experience what Laralee’s family has been through for all these years,” Chitwood said in a release. “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.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Major Case Unit via email at ColdCaseUnitTips@vcso.us or (386) 254-1537.