Kentucky State Police confirmed the human remains found Wednesday at a Garrard County home belonged to missing Madison County mother Savannah Spurlock.
Spurlock, who was 23, had been missing since January. In a Thursday afternoon press conference in Madison County, KSP confirmed the results of tests on the decomposed body belonged to her.
David Sparks, 23, was charged with evidence tampering and corpse abuse early Thursday morning entered a not guilty plea in Garrard District Court at his arraignment.
Sparks of Lancaster was taken into custody shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday after Kentucky authorities discovered the human remains buried near a house on a property belonging to a resident of Sparks around midnight.
Police received a tip about a foul odor at a Garrard County property Wednesday afternoon, according to an arrest citation. Unidentified human remains were discovered later that night "concealed in an unnatural position beneath the surface of the ground," the citation states.
Sparks was one of three men leaving a Lexington bar with Spurlock when she was last seen on Jan. 4. and had been interviewed by police, KSP Trooper Robert Purdy said.
Police were continuing their investigation into the January disappearance of Spurlock. Police did not directly tie Sparks’ arrest to her disappearance, but news outlets reported the property where the remains were found had been searched previously in connection with the 23-year-old's disappearance.
The arrest citation said investigators found "items of evidence believed to be connected to the missing persons case" that were last known to be in the control of the missing person and Sparks.
Spurlock had twins in December and was also the mother of two older children.
Police conducted multiple searches in Garrard County and the three men who were with Spurlock were interviewed by police.
The family had offered a $15,000 reward for tip to led to her safe recovery. Lisa Thoma, Spurlock's aunt, offered these comments in a video statement.
“We are heartbroken to confirm that Savannah’s remains were found on the property of the 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,” Thoma said who also thanked the Richmond Police Department for their work.
"You have put so much heart and soul into fighting for Savannah," she wrote. "We are forever grateful for your passion for answers, your perseverance to protect the case, and your dedication and hours of work."
After the KSP announcement, Thoma said the family would be shutting down the Facebook page Missing Savannah, which has been active since her disappearance. The page had 35,000 followers.
“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,” Thoma said. “We’ve fought a very public fight and now we must step away and grieve privately."