Police: Remains found in Kentucky confirmed as missing woman

These undated images provided by the Richmond, Ky. Police Department show, Savannah Spurlock. 23, who was last scene leaving a Lexington, Ky., bar with several men on Jan. 4, 2019. Kentucky State Police say human remains have been found during a search for a woman who disappeared in January. Trooper Robert Purdy tells news outlets the remains were found Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in a residential neighborhood in Garrard County. Police say a tip reported led authorities to search the property, which belongs to relatives of a suspect. (Richmond, Ky. Police Department via AP)

LANCASTER, Ky. (AP) — The remains of a Kentucky woman who disappeared six months ago were found buried near a house, Kentucky State Police said Thursday.

Trooper Robert Purdy confirmed the remains found Wednesday night were those of Savannah Spurlock, 23, who was last seen in January leaving a Lexington bar with several men.

David Sparks, 23, of Lancaster, was taken into custody shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday and charged with evidence tampering and corpse abuse.

The property where the remains were found belongs to a relative of Sparks. Police did not directly tie Sparks' arrest to Spurlock, but news outlets reported the property had been searched previously in connection with her disappearance.

Purdy declined to say whether additional charges were expected. Purdy said at a news conference Thursday in Richmond that the cause of death wasn't available yet.

According to an arrest citation, police received a tip about a foul odor at a Garrard County property Wednesday afternoon. Unidentified human remains were discovered later that night "concealed in an unnatural position beneath the surface of the ground," the citation states.

Sparks was taken to the Madison County jail, but Purdy said he was transferred to the Lincoln County jail. Online jail records didn't indicate whether Sparks was represented by a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.

The arrest citation says that in addition to the human remains, 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.

State police said an autopsy was being conducted at the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort.