Savannah Spurlock's Grieving Aunt Speaks Out Hours After Cops Find the Young Mom's Body

A photo of Savannah Spurlock with her baby, beside a photo of her tearful mother.
Missing Savannah/Facebook

More than six months after Savannah went missing, the Spurlock family was finally delivered the news they'd been dreading: Their beloved Savannah had been viciously murdered and buried in the yard of a home in Garrard County, Kentucky. Just minutes after Kentucky State Police confirmed the remains found Thursday were Savannah's, her aunt, Lisa Thoma, took to Facebook in a gut-wrenching live video that is almost too heartbreaking to watch.

  • Savannah was first reported missing January 5, nearly a day after the young mom had gone for a night out with friends and never returned.

    Twenty-two-year-old Savannah had just recently become a mom of four after giving birth to twin boys in December, and she drove with friends to Lexington, Kentucky, to get drinks at The Other Bar.

    But what started as an evening out soon turned into an all-night affair. At 3 a.m., her mother, Ellen Spurlock, received a FaceTime call from her daughter, who shared that she'd be home later that morning and not to worry.

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

    And so, Ellen fell back asleep, sure that her daughter would be home by the time she woke up.

    Sadly, she wasn't.

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  • For six long and agonizing months, Ellen would continue to hope that her daughter would be found alive -- while also fearing the worst.

    On Wednesday, Kentucky State Police were called to a home on Far Lick Road in Garrard County, after neighbors reported a "foul odor" wafting from the yard. It just so happened that this home belonged to relatives of 23-year-old David Sparks -- one of the men in the car with Savannah that night when she made that fateful last call to her mother.

    Sparks had remained a suspect for months -- and police had even searched the property for clues back in February -- but hadn't turned up any evidence.

  • That changed this week, when police dug up the yard and discovered items belonging to Savannah -- along with a body.

    Hours later, they confirmed that the remains did in fact belong to the mother of four, though a medical examiner is still determining the cause of death.

    Sparks was immediately arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse. It is not yet clear whether murder charges will follow.

  • Thursday afternoon, shortly after Kentucky State Police confirmed the remains were Savannah's, Thoma took to Facebook and made a tearful statement.

    Facing the camera, with weary eyes and tear-stained cheeks, Thoma shared that the entire Spurlock family was left heartbroken by the news.

    "Our sobs of pain and physical anguish are met with moments of our beautiful memories of the vibrant and vivacious person she was," Thoma shared. "She lives on through her precious boys, who each carry a special part of her in them."

    If there is any solace to be found right now, Thoma said that the family takes comfort in knowing that Savannah is at peace. 

    "We know that Savannah has not been suffering all this time. She has been cradled in the arms of our great savior, Jesus Christ," Thoma shared, struggling through tears. 

  • Still, the pain of enduring a trial and learning exactly what happened to Savannah in those early morning hours weighs heavy on the family.

    "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," Savannah's grieving aunt continued. 

    For those reasons, she asked for respect and privacy from the media, saying, "We have fought a very public fight, and now we must step away and grieve privately."

  • Thoma also took time to thank the countless volunteers, investigators, and even strangers across Facebook who continued to search for Savannah.

    "You have embraced a stranger with empathy and compassion," Thoma said, as she spoke of the 35,000 Facebook followers who have joined her in a "fight for the truth" on the Facebook page Missing Savannah (which has since been renamed Remembering Savannah).

    She also thanked the anonymous good Samaritans who provided the tip that led investigators to finding Savannah. 

    "That took immense courage and bravery to stand up for the truth," she said. "Thank you."

  • But most of all, Thoma thanked the men and women of the Kentucky State Police, who never gave up their search for justice.

    "You have put so much heart and soul into searching for Savannah," she shared, noting their dedication and hours of investigative work. 

    "As KSP now takes the reins," she continued, "we pray that justice will be served by anyone involved."

  • At the end of the video, Thoma shared that the family was closing the Missing Savannah Facebook page started in January, which has over 35K followers.

    On Friday, however, she shared another post, responding to the overwhelming outpouring of support received, and noted that many followers asked that the page stay open.

    "I will hang tight on that," Thoma wrote, "especially as I want to have a chance to read through your comments and messages over the next several weeks."

  • On Thursday, Savannah's father, Cecil Spurlock, also spoke out, in an interview with Fox News. 

    "For the last week, I begged God, 'Let’s have closure on it,'" Cecil told the outlet. "He did it."

    In the meantime, authorities are working to investigate how exactly Sparks may be involved in Savannah's death, as well as how she died. 

    According to WKYT, Sparks is due to appear in court Monday morning for a preliminary hearing.