Remains found on a rural Kentucky property have been positively identified as those of Savannah Spurlock, a mom of four who vanished in January after a night out at the bars.
A medical examiner was able to identify the remains Thursday, hours after police took one of the men spotted on surveillance footage leaving the bar with Spurlock into custody.
David Sparks was arrested on suspicion of abuse of corpse and tampering with physical evidence after Spurlock’s remains were found on a property owned by his family. Although investigators had searched the property shortly after the 22-year-old’s disappearance, the body wasn’t discovered until Wednesday after someone on the property had reported smelling a foul odor, CNN reports.
The cause of death and details surrounding the young mom’s final moments have not been released.
"As a member of this community, I am aware that the results of this investigation are incredibly heartbreaking," Kentucky State Police Trooper 1st Class Robert Purdy said during a news conference announcing the identification, according to WYMT.
Spurlock disappeared in the early morning hours Jan. 5 after she was seen leaving a Lexington bar with three other people. The young mom had given birth to a set of twins just the month before she vanished.
Investigators believe the group headed to Spark’s property in rural Garrard County. Her mother, Ellen Spurlock, talked with her daughter on FaceTime shortly after she left the bar, but it was her last known contact with her mom, leaving the family searching for answers for months.
Spurlock’s father, Cecil Spurlock, told Fox News the discovery of his daughter’s body has brought him some measure of closure.
“For the last week, I begged God, ‘Let’s have closure on it,’” he said. “He did it.”
In a video message posted on social media, Savannah Spurlock’s aunt Lisa Thoma said the family is hopeful that justice will be served for anyone involved in her niece’s death.
“As hard as the last six months have been, the truth of what happened that night in January is going to be even more painful,” she said.
Thoma went on to say that the moments of “physical anguish” the family is experiencing have only been tempered by the “beautiful memories of the vibrant and vivacious person she was.”
In addition to her body, Kentucky State Police also discovered other evidence they believe belonged to Spurlock.
"As far as the specific items that were recovered, all of that is sensitive to this investigation. Specific details [we] won't be able to release, [they] will be coming out in court proceedings," Purdy said.
Sparks, who is considered the “primary suspect” in Spurlock’s disappearance, pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon in Garrard District Court to the abuse of corpse and tampering with physical evidence charges against him, WKYT reports.
No charges have been filed at this time against the other men seen leaving the bar with Spurlock.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.