Human remains discovered in connection to the case of missing Kentucky mother Savannah Spurlock were confirmed to be hers, authorities said on Thursday, July 11.
Spurlock, 23, was last seen in January leaving a Kentucky bar with three men.
Police officers and FBI agents found the remains at a house in Garrard County on Wednesday, sending them to a nearby medical examiner’s office for identification, which was completed on Thursday.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy confirmed the identification at a news conference, reported the Louisville Courier-Journal.
David Sparks was booked into prison Thursday morning on charges of abusing a corpse and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the found remains, reported WLKY.
The house where the body was found is owned by relatives of Sparks and is also where he lives, according to an arrest report obtained by WKYT.
Sparks was one of the men who were seen with Spurlock before she vanished, the state police said at the press conference. Purdy declined to answer when asked about possible additional charges against Sparks or any potential charges against the other two men who were last seen with Spurlock.
It said an unidentified man, apparently the homeowner, called his attorney around 5 p.m. on Wednesday to report a foul odor coming from his property.
Sparks was “the primary suspect in a missing persons investigation” even before the remains were found, troopers wrote in the report. He entered a not guilty plea in court on Thursday afternoon.
Sparks has several traffic citations on his record in addition to a DUI conviction and convictions for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in 2017, according to WYMT.
Spurlock’s father Cecil Spurlock celebrated the end of the search for his missing daughter, telling Fox News: “For the last week, I begged God, ‘Let’s have closure on it.’ He did it.”
Spurlock said that he felt his daughter was dead and believes the arrest of Sparks marks the arrival of justice.
“I already knew she wasn’t here no more. I knew she was passed away and gone. I knew she wasn’t here in this world anymore,” he told Fox News, adding “She wouldn’t be away from her four boys. She wouldn’t just leave.”
“She deserves justice,” he added.
Police officials said earlier this year that Spurlock was taken to a house in a rural area by the three men after being spotted on surveillance footage in the early hours of Jan. 4 leaving the Other Bar in Lexington with them.
Lt. Col Rodney Richardson, assistant chief of police with the Richmond Police Department, told Fox News that Spurlock was taken to a house in Garrard County, some 40 miles from the bar before she vanished.
He also said that the men were strangers.
“We know that she ended up at a home in Garrard County sometime after leaving the bar with these three men,” Richardson said. “They did not know Savannah prior to meeting her at the bar.”
Spurlock rode in the backseat of a vehicle that one of the men drove, with another in the passenger seat. The third man drove a separate vehicle.
Investigators haven’t been able to confirm if Spurlock ever left the house. Spurlock’s mother, Ellen Spurlock, told Fox News that she spoke to her daughter on FaceTime on Jan. 4.
“There was a man driving the car. Savannah was in the passenger seat. There were at least two people in the back seat talking. … I heard one of them tell me to ‘chill,’” Ellen Spurlock said. “They were also hollering other things but I couldn’t make it out. I was just checking on my daughter.”