Police in Michigan are desperately searching for the body of a young mother who disappeared in late June and is presumed dead.
Two people have been charged in 27-year-old Amber Griffin’s disappearance and apparent death, including her boyfriend, 25-year-old Derek Horton.
Griffin was reported missing in Battle Creek on June 24 by her mother and Horton, who told police that he last saw his girlfriend at around midnight on June 23 at the couple’s Bedford Township home.
Police in Michigan are searching for the body of Amber Griffin, 27 (left), who they suspect was murdered by her boyfriend, Derek Horton, 25 (right), on June 23
Volunteers have been scouring areas around Battle Creek, Michigan, for a month in search of Griffin’s body
But as the investigation unfolded, police discovered multiple inconsistencies in Horton’s version of events.
Sgt. Joel Case, with the Battle Creek Police Department, told MLive.com that multiple witnesses reported seeing Griffin and Horton together at around 2am on June 23.
At about that time, police received a 911 call from Griffin’s phone, on which emergency dispatcher could hear a violent struggle between a woman, whose voice they identified as belonging to Griffin, and a man.
Investigators later obtained surveillance video from the nearby hardware store, which allegedly showed Horton and an alleged accomplice Julice Haggerty, buying a shovel.
It has been reported that Horton and Haggerty also purchased cleaning supplies and new clothes that day, but police have yet to confirm that.
Horton was initially arrested on June 26 on a charge of aggravated domestic violence, which was upgraded to open murder the following day.
In early July, police arrested Haggerty and charged him with tampering with evidence and lying to a peace officer.
Horton’s alleged accomplice, Julice Haggerty, has been charged with tampering with evidence. Police suspect he played a role in the disposal of Griffin’s body after her death
Investigators believe that Horton killed Griffin during a house party on Oneita Street. Sgt Case told People Magazine that police discovered traces of blood throughout the residence.
Horton then possibly disposed of Griffin’s body by burying it, but so far it has not been found, despite the efforts of dozens of volunteers, reported WOOD-TV.
In an interview with WWMT, Case appealed to anyone who knows of specific locations that Horton was known to frequent to come forward.
He said the search for Griffin has been hampered by the coronavirus outbreak, which has taken out of commission five of the 10 detectives assigned to the case.
Carman Griffin, Amber’s mother, said she last heard from her daughter at around 10pm on June 22, when the 27-year-old sent her a text message.
‘She’s like, “tell [my children] I love them, and things are going to change.” She’s like, “I love you, mom,”’ Carman Griffin recounted.
As MLive.com reported, Horton’s past criminal history includes charges of domestic violence and assault with intent to do great bodily harm stemming from two separate incident that occurred in February 2019 and January 2020, both involving Griffin.
A prosecutor said during Horton’s arraignment last month that both of those charges were later dropped.