BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — After a two-day search effort, Battle Creek Police believe they found the remains of a woman who has been missing for almost two years.
Police began the search for Amber Griffin Wednesday after Derek Horton, the man on trial for her murder, pointed police in the direction of where to find her body.
While they believe the remains found belong to Griffin, investigators say medical examiners still need to confirm the remains through DNA or dental records since the body was decomposed.
Search teams scoured a wooded area south of Waubascon Road in Battle Creek Wednesday and Thursday.
"The day she was reported missing, almost the entire investigative bureau from Battle Creek Police was activated to find her," said Lt. Joel Case with the Battle Creek Police Department.
Investigators said Horton showed them four locations deep in the woods that are behind the homes on Waubascon Road.
Police brought in excavators and K-9 cadaver dogs to aid in the search.
Thursday afternoon around 1:45 p.m., police found bones buried at the third site.
Case said the remains were found buried three feet underground.
"We were trying to be delicate, you're using a piece of heavy equipment to bring back layers at a time," said Case. "You don’t want to damage anything, we want to respect the body when we recovered her so it was a very slow process."
Police previously searched the wooded area back in 2020 when Griffin was first reported missing.
A bloody pair of pants and a receipt for a shovel that traced back to Horton was found during the initial search of the area.
Griffin was last seen in June 2020 at a house party on Oneita street, less than a mile from where police found the remains.
Case said their end goal was to return Griffin’s remains back to her family so the people who loved her most could have some closure.
"I went and met, along with Prosecutor Gilbert, with the mother, Carman Griffin, after we found her. She’s emotional, but she's happy."
Friends of Griffin said they will remember Griffin for her fierce and bubbly personality.
"We love her, we’re going to miss her, but we will keep her memory alive for sure," said Stacy Green, a friend of Griffin.
Horton struck a plea deal with the Calhoun County Prosecutor.
In exchange for giving police the location of the body, he pled no contest to second degree murder which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.
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