Battle Creek Police announced in a Thursday, March 3rd,  press conference that they believe they have found the remains of Amber Griffin. The 27-year-old mother was reported missing at the end of June 2020, and her boyfriend, Derek Horton, has been the prime suspect in the tragic case. 

Prosecutors offered Derek Horton a conditional plea deal if he would lead investigators to the location of her body. Under these conditions, there would be no deal in court if they did not find her remains. He agreed to the terms and led investigators to the area of Fell Park on late Wednesday afternoon. 

 

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Investigators spent the remainder of Wednesday afternoon staking out the area in the woods south of Waubascon Road between Limit Street and Hubbard Street developing a search plan. It has been two years since Amber disappeared and Lt. Joel Case said, “The most challenging thing was that the surface of the ground, you couldn’t tell anything apart. You would think that you could go up and identify an area relatively easily, but that wasn’t the case at all. Mainly with the leaves and stuff, that were on top of the ground, you couldn’t just look at a spot and determine whether that was an area that had been searched.” 

It was in the third area, which Horton identified as a possible location, that the search team uncovered the remains. With the aid of a mini-excavator, the soil was removed layer by layer, so as not to disturb any possible remains and also out of respect for Amber. As the delicate process continued, Michigan State Police cadaver dogs alerted investigators and the human remains were uncovered at approximately three feet below the surface of the ground. 

Investigators, along with Calhoun Prosecutor David E. Gilbert, broke the news to Amber’s mother, Carman Griffin. Lt. Case said, “She is happy but emotional”, adding, “It’s been a very long ordeal for her and she is still processing it."

At least a dozen areas of Calhoun County were searched during the past 2 years, with the aid of MSP cadaver dogs and community volunteers. A forensic exam will confirm whether the remains are those of the 27-year-old mother. 

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