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Spurlock family donating tip boxes; Family of missing man appreciates gesture

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 17:07:14-05

JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Sandra Hasty doesn’t have to be told it’s New Year’s Day. She can get much more specific than that.

“Four years, seven months, and fifteen days,” she said. That’s how the calendar has worked for her since May of 2015, when her son, then-38-year-old, Michael Gorley disappeared somewhere on Kentucky 300 in Lincoln County after spending some time with friends.

“Those friends,” said his sister Jennifer Coffey, “told us he went walking off, but his hat and shoes were still on the porch. Their stories didn’t add up when we went looking for Michael, so instantly we knew something was wrong.”

Kind of like the family of Savannah Spurlock knew something was wrong when she didn’t come home following a night out in Lexington. The Madison County mother was eventually found, deceased, many months later.

The Spurlocks know the pain that’s felt by Hasty and Coffey and the family members of other missing people, so they wanted to help by donating tip boxes that were used when Savannah was still missing.

“Very appreciative, and we thank them,” Hasty said of the donation, which will also benefit two more families in central Kentucky.

The boxes, now painted orange to represent Michael’s favorite color, have been attached to telephone poles in Junction City on E. Shelby Street, and Hustonville Road.

Anyone with information about Michael’s disappearance can leave a hand written, or typed, message and may do so anonymously. The Spurlocks feel this type of strategy may have helped police with their investigation into Savannah’s disappearance.

“I think the people involved [with Savannah] didn’t think she’d be found, but she was. So it’s proof things like that can help, so that’s what we’re hoping for,” Coffey said.

And they won’t stop being hopeful until they have answers.

“We’ve missed five birthdays, five Christmases and four New Year’s,” said Hasty, who is always counting from a much different calendar than the rest of us. The kind only a family that’s had a loved-one disappear, could understand.