Kentucky State Police identify human remains as Savannah Spurlock

Published: Jul. 10, 2019 at 6:13 PM EDT
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Kentucky State Police have announced the human remains found at a home in Garrard County are those of missing Richmond woman Savannah Spurlock.

This comes after authorities arrested a man in connection to the search for Spurlock which started Wednesday night. Spurlock's remains were found just before midnight.

David Sparks, 23, was arrested and booked into the Madison County Detention Center Thursday morning. He is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

Sparks appeared in Garrard District Court Thursday afternoon, where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. Sparks also was appointed a public defender. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday. After his court appearance, authorities placed him in the Lincoln County Regional Jail.

Sparks' arrest citation states he lives on the Fall Lick Road property where the remains were found. Perkins Lane was blocked at the Fall Lick Road intersection during the search.

Authorities received a tip around 5 p.m. Sparks' arrest citation says a man called his attorney around that time to report a foul odor coming from his property. Troopers said that information, in addition to the fact that Sparks "is the primary suspect in a missing persons investigation," led investigators to search the property.

The human remains were found buried on the property. Troopers said they found evidence with the remains. Medical examiners hope to shine more light on how she died in the coming weeks.

"These items were last known to be in the control of only two individuals, the missing person, and the above," Sparks' citation said.

Troopers didn't release a cause or manner of death.

Kentucky State Police was the lead investigating agency at the search scene. Richmond police have been the lead investigating agency in the case. Garrard County authorities and the FBI are also at the property.

The home on Fall Lick Road was searched once before.

Sparks lives at the home and was one of the last people to be with Spurlock.

Investigators said Spurlock, who was 22 when she disappeared, was last seen Jan. 5 after she left a Lexington bar and went with a group of men to a home on Price Court in Garrard County. Police interviewed the men seen with Spurlock on surveillance video outside the bar.

Authorities have searched a home on Price Court during the investigation into Spurlock's disappearance during the initial stages of the investigation. Search teams spent weeks looking for her throughout Garrard County soon after she went missing.

This discovery comes days after the six-month anniversary of Spurlock's disappearance. Spurlock was the mother of four children.

Family Statement

We are heartbroken to confirm that Savannah’s remains were found on the property of a home in Garrard County overnight. Our sobs of pain and physical anguish are met with moments of our beautiful memories of the vibrant and vivacious person she was. She lives on through her precious boys, who each carry a special part of her in them. We know that Savannah has not been suffering all of this time. She has been cradled in the arms of our Great Savior, Jesus Christ. As we have cried out to Him through the unknown, we continue to cling to Him through the pain and heartache of the truth to come. 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. We have fought a very public fight, and now we must step away and grieve privately. We plan to close this page tomorrow morning, and we ask that media respect our need for privacy as well. We could not have done this without the over 35,000 of you on this page who have followed, shared, prayed, searched, donated, and advocated. You have kept Savannah’s silenced voice alive alongside us in a fight for the truth. You have embraced a stranger with empathy and compassion. Many of you have adopted her into your family as one of your own. Thank you. Thank you to the ones who provided the tip that gave us closure. That took immense courage and bravery to stand up for the truth. Thank you. To Detective Fraze and Detective Scott from Richmond PD, you have put so much heart and soul into fighting for Savannah. We are forever grateful for your passion for answers, your perseverance to protect the case, and your dedication and hours of work. Thank you to Richmond PD, Garrard County PD, KSP, FBI, and all the other local LE agencies who have poured into this case. Thank you to Sal Grasso, for helping with this final push for answers. As KSP now takes the reins, we pray that justice will be served by anyone involved. Thank you to the professional groups who have advised us, cried with us, and searched for Savannah. Cajun Search and Rescue Team, Midwest Chapter of Texas Eqqusearch, LostNMissing, The Aware Foundation, Missing Person Cases Network, and the many other teams that aided on the ground and online. Thank you to Kim Gipson, Grace Prater, Toni Robinson, and all of our other local searchers who spent hours on the ground fighting for Savannah. Thank you to the local and national media outlets who have spread awareness week after week. We appreciate your efforts so deeply. The amount of support and love you all have shown our family is incredible. Around the world, you have been #SavannahStrong. God has an amazing way of knitting people together through tragedy. We are thankful for those new bonds formed. For the small number who have had ill intentions through this process, we pray that God will meet you and forgive you for hurting Savannah and our family. As this part of the process closes for us, we continue to pray and advocate for the other families of the missing who are still waiting. We pray for perseverance through the unknown. We pray for courage to fight for their loved one, who is worthy to be found. Savannah, we love you so much. #RestinHeaven #SavannahStrong

Posted by Remembering Savannah on Thursday, July 11, 2019

Large police presence in Garrard County where search for Savannah Spurlock has taken place. READ MORE:

Posted by WKYT on Wednesday, July 10, 2019