(WAVE) - Kentucky State Police officials on Thursday announced that the discovery of human remains found late Wednesday night are those of Savannah Spurlock.
Spurlock, a 23-year-old mother of four, was last seen leaving a Lexington-area bar with several men late one night in January.
David Sparks, 23, has been arrested in connection to the case. He was booked into the Madison County Detention Center early Thursday morning, charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence. KSP Trooper Robert Purdy said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that it was too early to tell which other charges, if any, Sparks might face.
“We’re gonna allow our detectives to continue their investigation to try to determine exactly what happened,” he said.
How Spurlock died remains a question that Purdy was not able to answer.
“The location and manner of how the body was recovered gives us a lot of suspicion about what may have happened,” he said.
On Wednesday, human remains were found at a property in Garrard County, owned by the family of one of the suspects. It’s not clear if that property is connected to the Sparks family.
“There’s a lot of things we’re going to continue to look at in the coming days and weeks ... (including) when the body may have been placed there.”
Medical examiners in Frankfort performed the autopsy Thursday. Richmond police have been the lead investigating agency in the case. Garrard County authorities and the FBI also are investigating. Police departments from Richmond and Lancaster also have assisted.
In April, Spurlock’s family announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in her disappearance.
Spurlock’s family hired private investigator Salvatore Grasso less than two weeks ago to help with the case.
“We were working down there day and night practically around the clock,” Grasso told WAVE 3 News’ sister station WKYT. “I said from day one that somebody that lived in that house where she was last seen had to know what happened to Savannah Spurlock. Bottom line.”
Following Thursday’s KSP news conference, Spurlock’s aunt, Lisa Thoma, released a video statement on behalf of the family.
“As KSP now takes the reigns, we pray that justice will be served by anyone involved,” she said. “Savannah, we love you so much. Rest in heaven.”
Watch the full statement below: