After nearly a month at home with her newborn twins, Kentucky 22-year-old Savannah Spurlock took her mother’s advice that a night off would be good for her and made plans to hit the town.
She got dressed up, borrowed her mother’s car and met two friends in Richmond before they traveled together to The Other Bar in Lexington.
One friend went home early, knowing he needed to get to bed soon if he wanted to be up in time for a commitment in the morning. Savannah’s other friend would go home before her, too, leaving the bar after the pair got into an argument.
Savannah left the bar around 2:30 a.m., but she didn’t make it home that night. Nearly five months later, the mother-of-four still hasn’t returned to her devastated loved ones.
“She’s worthy of being found,” Savannah’s aunt Lisa Thoma told InsideEdition.com. “She’s worthy.”
Her family and friends know little more than they did in the first few weeks following Savannah’s Jan. 4 disappearance, despite an extensive investigation and considerable push on social media.
The details of what exactly happened to Savannah after she left the bar with three men remain unclear. Finding the words to explain to Savannah’s four young children her absence hasn’t gotten any easier. But they’ve continued to hold out hope for the answers they’ve needed for nearly five months, because time does not, in fact, heal all, they said.
“Someone knows something,” her best friend, Sabrina Speratos, said. “We just want her home.”
It didn’t take long for Savannah’s family and friends to realize something was wrong the night she vanished.
After waking to find her daughter had not yet returned home, Savannah’s mother called her about 3 a.m. Though Savannah initially hung up on her mother, she called her on FaceTime minutes later. She was in a moving vehicle and said she was fine, that she would be home before long, but Savannah’s mother said several other people in the car were yelling at her, her family said.
“Police later determined that Savannah was traveling in the front passenger seat of an SUV, with one male driving and another male, who was in the rear passenger seat,” Thoma said. “The third male got into a black, Chevy S-10 pickup truck.”
The three men had been seen talking with Savannah at The Other Bar and were spotted on surveillance footage leaving the bar with her at about 2:30 a.m.
Though Savannah did not seem to be in distress during the FaceTime call, she did appear intoxicated, her mother said.
Savannah was taken about 40 miles away from Lexington to a house in a rural part of Garrard County.
Savannah’s phone was no longer on by 8:30 a.m. Jan. 4.
“’Something’s not right; her phone’s never dead,’” Speratos recalled saying when Savannah’s mother called her after she failed to make it home. “She wondered if she was with me.”
Savannah was reported missing, and her family and friends immediately got to work trying to find her.
“I started calling around to everyone I knew, all of our acquaintances, I was freaked out,” Speratos said. “We took it serious ... she’s such a considerate person, she had her mom’s vehicle and she knew [her mother] had responsibilities. We knew something wasn’t right.”
Though police said one of the men Savannah was last seen with told officers she left the residence in Garrard County, authorities have said they are unable to confirm his account.
“Police can confirm she was at that house, but they can’t confirm that she left,” Thoma said. “That is like a dagger sticking in my brain; that seems like a big deal.”
Law enforcement officials executed a search warrant on Jan. 22 at a home in Garrard County belonging to the parents of one of the men allegedly in the surveillance footage with Savannah, as well as on a vehicle located on the property. Six days later, police announced they had identified and questioned the three men. They have not been formally identified, nor have they been named suspects in the case.
“No one has been charged with any criminal offense at this time,” Richmond police said in a statement. “We are continuing our search for Savannah and appreciate everything the public and the media have done to assist in our efforts. There are many people, organizations, and volunteers that have assisted us over the past few weeks and for that we are thankful. Finding Savannah continues to be a top priority.”
On what should have been Savannah’s 23rd birthday, searchers scoured cornfields and a bridge for any clues that would lead to a break in the case. Savannah also missed her oldest son’s birthday, a milestone she would have moved mountains for if she could, those who know her said.
“She always put her kids first,” Speratos said. “She loved her kids so much. She was just so attached to them.”
Savannah’s family and friends have picked up where she left off, raising them in the hopes that their mother will return soon.
“They’re doing better than they were in the beginning,” Speratos said. “They’re looking and acting more and more like her every day; it’s hard.”
Savannah’s disappearance has especially taken its toll on those who watched her grow up and held out hope she’d see her dreams of a fulfilling, happy life for herself and her children fully realized.
“It really tears his heart apart every time,” Thoma said of Savannah’s father having to discuss her vanishing. “Her grandparents are really struggling, too. Her grandmother in particular, because her grandfather has had some health problems. Savannah is their first grandchild.”
Life has become a balancing act for Savannah’s loved ones, as they fight to keep her name and story present in all they do while taking care to not be overcome by it all.
“It’s just so consuming,” said Thoma, who runs the Missing Savannah Spurlock Facebook page from Ohio. “My kids have been like, 'Mommy, you’re on the phone all the time.' You need boundaries, sometimes, to be able to walk away, but then you feel bad about walking away. You can’t just wallow in it because there are other people who need you to be strong.”
Savannah’s loved ones’ biggest resource can at times be weaponized against them, as strangers on social media both offer well wishes and lob criticism at the missing mom.
“Her mom has called me crying because someone’s bashed Savannah on Facebook,” Speratos said. “Not everyone is a considerate and open-minded human being.”
But the good there often outweighs the bad.
“We’ve had so much support from strangers from all over the world that are praying for us, but also from these other families that are going through the same thing,” Thoma said. “How eye-opening this has been to the general problem of missing people.”
It’s Savannah’s loved ones’ hope that remaining open to feedback will usher in a tip that proves useful in finally bringing her home.
“We’re trying our best to stay hopeful, to keep pushing through all of the noise,” Thoma said. “The FBI is involved and that’s been encouraging to know that there’s extended help, and … the police department, I’ve seen nothing but their passion.”
Savannah is 5 feet tall, weighs 140 pounds and has brown eyes, shoulder-length brownish blond hair and multiple tattoos, including a rose on her left shoulder. Her tattoos also include “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” on the right side of her midsection and “I’m her daughter” on her back. She was last seen wearing a black sleeveless top, a maroon skirt and high heels.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Richmond Police Department at 859-624-4776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thoma also asked that landowners in the area of the home Savannah allegedly was at before she disappeared check their properties, especially the more rural tracts in the area. She also urged anyone with information to come forward, saying, “If someone knows the truth, not a rumor, but the truth, or is close to one of these people involved … tell the full story.”