Mom of 4 Who Went Missing Shortly After Giving Birth to Twins Has Been Found Dead Months Later

Photos of Savannah Spurlock
Missing Savannah/Facebook

For months, Kentucky police were stumped as to what could have happened to Savannah Spurlock, a 22-year-old mother of four who vanished mysteriously on January 4, after a night out with friends. This week, their tireless investigating finally may have led to an answer -- or at least the start of one. Remains confirmed to be Savannah's were found on a property in Gerrard Country on Wednesday, just hours before a suspect was taken into custody.

  • Savannah had given birth to twin boys a few weeks before her disappearance, which happened after a night out with friends.

    Savannah's mother, Ellen Spurlock, told Dateline that it was actually the first time her daughter had been out "in months" because the young mother had been busy at home with her newborns, as well as her 2- and 4-year-old sons.

    But this night was different -- she was taking some time for herself and told her mother, who was watching the children, that she'd be gone for the evening.

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  • At 3 a.m., her mother got a FaceTime call she wasn't expecting: It was Savannah, calling to let her know that she'd be staying out later than planned.

    Looking back, Ellen said nothing about that call concerned her. The 22-year-old seemed fine -- happy, even -- as she rode in the back of a car with several other passengers. It appeared to be a fun night out, and though Ellen could see a man was driving, she didn't recognize him. 

    "There were 1-2 people in the back seat who were hollering and talking over each other,” Ellen recalled. "She said: 'I will be home later this morning. I promise.' And when she said she promised something, she always did it."

    As Ellen fell back asleep in those early morning hours, she says she felt secure in the thought that her daughter would be home in a matter of hours. Instead, it was the last time she would speak to her daughter.

  • By 8 a.m., there was still no sign of Savannah, who knew that her mother needed her car back to head to work.

    Still, although it might have seemed out of character, alarm bells weren't yet going off. Those came later, as the hours ticked by and day turned to night without word from Savannah. Meanwhile, Ellen's calls were going straight to voicemail, and before she knew it, what she thought was merely "unusual" behavior pointed to something far more serious.

    By nightfall, Ellen had reported her daughter missing to the Richmond Police Department, and she began an agonizing wait for answers that would take months.

  • During their exhaustive investigation, police zeroed in on three men Savannah was last seen with -- none of whom she appeared to know before that night.

    All three of those men did seem to know one another well, and two of them were identified as being in the car with her during her mother's FaceTime call. The third is said to have been traveling behind in a different vehicle.

    Though Savannah had made the 45-minute drive to Lexington, Kentucky, that night with friends, it seems she parted ways when leaving The Other Bar with the three men.

  • On Wednesday, police were called to a home in Gerrard County after reports came in of a foul odor emanating from the yard. 

    Remains were found buried in the yard -- which belonged to relatives of one of the three suspects -- just before midnight, according to LEX 18. Shortly after, 23-year-old David Sparks was arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse. Although he has not been charged with murder, it is possible those charges will follow, as police have called him a "primary suspect." 

    According to a press conference held Thursday by the Kentucky State Police, the medical examiner has not reached a cause of death, but is expected to do so within the coming days. A spokesperson also shared that while the home was originally searched by police in February, no remains were found. It's unclear as to how extensive the search was, or if the body was even buried at the residence at the time.

  • In late January, Ellen Spurlock told Dateline that the agony of missing her daughter was almost too much to bear.

    "I can’t even describe how awful it is,” Ellen shared at the time. “I live with her, so I constantly see her clothes, her mail -- everything regarding her. It’s really, really miserable. I just have to hold on to the hope because if I don’t, I’ll fold.”

    For the last six months, the family had been holding on to hope, and asking others to come forward with any and all information they may have, on the public Facebook page Missing Savannah

    In one such post, the caption read:

    "Savannah was making mistakes before she went missing. As we all make mistakes. No matter what she was struggling with, there is no mistake about her deep love for her children."
    On Thursday, shortly after the Kentucky State Police held its news conference, Ellen took to Facebook Live to make a statement of her own. In the tearful video, the grieving mother shared her heartbreak, as she prepares herself for the next chapter in this story.

    "As hard as the last six months have been, learning the truth of what happened that night in January is going to be even more painful," Ellen said, her voice wavering at times.

    She also took the time to thank the countless volunteers who aided in the search, friends, family, and strangers, who helped spread awareness of Savannah's disappearance, and of course, the police officers who "poured their heart and soul" to find her daughter. 

    "You have kept Savannah’s silenced voice alive along with us, in search for the truth," she said. "Thank you."