State

Louisiana-based search team to help in search for missing Richmond mother

Provided by Family of Savannah Spurlock

A Louisiana team that has helped look for missing people around the country will join the Central Kentucky search for Savannah Spurlock, the group announced.

The Cajun Coast Search & Rescue Team, which is made up of volunteers and 13 specialized search dogs, will be in Kentucky around midnight Monday to help in the search for Spurlock, said Toney Wade, the team’s commander.

Spurlock, a Richmond mother of four, has been missing since Jan. 4, when she was seen on surveillance video leaving The Other Bar on Limestone near the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington.

Richmond police and Kentucky State Police have been working to find Spurlock for weeks, and Wade said in a phone interview Sunday night that he spoke to her family and offered his team’s skills.

Once the team begins, it will consult with police to find areas where there might be signs of the missing person. The team uses volunteers and specially trained dogs to track someone by smells obtained from clothing and find human remains, Wade said.

Since announcing its plans to come to Kentucky, Wade said the team received an outpouring of offers of support from people in the area.

“Our hope all the time is for her to return home unharmed,” Wade said. “If that’s not the case, if we get closure for the family or someone else gets closure for her family, we want them to get that.”

In Garrard County on Jan. 8, three men were questioned in connection with Spurlock’s disappearance. Two of the men were on a surveillance video with Spurlock when she left the bar Jan 4. The men were released.

On Jan. 22, police carried out a search warrant at a Garrard County property connected to one of the men who was questioned, according to LEX18. Richmond Assistant Police Chief Rodney Richardson confirmed a search warrant was issued for a Garrard County home last week, but he could not say whose house it was.

The Richmond Police Department said Monday that no one has been charged in the case. Finding Savannah remains a top priority.

Lisa Thoma, aunt of 22-year-old Savannah Spurlock who had been missing since Jan. 4, asks the public to come forward to Richmond police department with any information about Savannah.

“There are many people, organizations and volunteers that have assisted us over the past few weeks and for that we are thankful,” the police department said in a Facebook post.

Wade and his team were involved in the recent search for Emily Wade, a Kentucky native who went missing in Texas. Emily Wade, who was of no relation to the search team’s commander Toney Wade, was found dead in a creek on Jan. 21. Her death was ruled accidental, according to CBS DFW, a local news station in the area.

The Cajun Coast Search & Rescue Team began several years ago when a group of firefighters saw the need for a group of volunteers trained in searching for missing persons. In the last two or three years, the group’s reputation has grown and it has been called in to help on cases across the country.

“It doesn’t matter what team makes the find ... it‘s just the amount of people there and the amount of feet on the ground, eyes on the ground, all working as one trying to get her home,” Wade said in the Facebook announcement Sunday.

Spurlock is 5 feet tall, 140 pounds, has brown eyes, shoulder-length brown/blonde hair and multiple tattoos, police said. A tattoo on her left shoulder reads, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” and a tattoo on her back says “I’m her daughter.” She also has piercings above her lip and on her ears.

If you have any information about her whereabouts, contact Richardson with Richmond police at 859-624-4776 or rrichardson@richmond.ky.us.

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