Reward increased to $100,000 in 1994 Florida cold case: 'Justice is coming for Laralee'

The Volusia County Sheriff is hoping a big reward for information on a 30-year cold case will help catch the person who killed Laralee Spear. 

On April 25, 1994, Laralee Spear never returned home after getting off the school bus. The DeLand High School student was found abducted, sexually assaulted, shot, and killed near an abandoned home on Deerfoot Road. 

On the weekend that would have been her 46th birthday, the Volusia County Sheriff posted a $100,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. 

"$100,000 is life-changing money and somebody knows whoever that killer is. He had a gun, had rope. He came ready to murder that child," said Sheryl McCollum of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, which has been involved in the case. 

"This is what I think might very well break it wide open. If somebody was 14, 15, or 16 years old, then they're grown now. They could have a 14 or 15-year-old daughter themselves. And when they were maybe too afraid to come forward at 15, they're not now," she continued. 

Laralee was an honor roll student, a pianist, a skilled singer, and a cheerleader with the dream of becoming a doctor. 

laralee cold case volusia county deland

Photos from Volusia County Sheriff's Office

"You not only took a life, you took a sister, you took a daughter," said Laralee’s sister Ginny Bussell when FOX 35 Orlando interviewed her in April. 

"You took her hopes and dreams," she continued. 

McCollum says detectives have recently discussed possibly re-testing DNA, including the rope the killer used, and with new DNA technology, she believes it could be another key to catching the person who killed Laralee. 

"You've got a killer that very well may be walking the streets and that is not okay," said McCollum. "I think justice is coming for Laralee Spears."

If you have a tip, no matter how small, you can contact the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit at or 386-254-1537.