Boyfriend charged with murder after woman goes missing

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A missing person incident in Battle Creek is now being investigated as a homicide, police say.

An undated courtesy photo of Amber Griffin.

Battle Creek police say Amber Griffin was reported missing to authorities by her mother and boyfriend last week. Both her mother and boyfriend said they last seen Griffin in the evening on June 22.

While investigating the missing person report, police say they found inconsistencies in the boyfriend’s story.

The boyfriend, Derek Horton, 25, was charged Monday afternoon with open murder.

Authorities say Horton had assaulted Griffin twice before, but in court Monday he pointed out he had never been convicted of a violent crime.

Several divisions of the of the Michigan State Police have assisted in the search for Griffin, whose body hasn’t been found. Authorities are asking for the public’s help to find her.

They say Horton was known to drive a black 2003 Chevy Impala. He was seen buying a shovel from Mix Hardware in Battle Creek in the afternoon on June 23 and police believe he may have buried Griffin’s body. Anyone with information is asked to contact Calhoun County dispatch at 269.781.0911 or Silent Observer at 269.964.3888.

Horton was denied bond. He is expected back in court next month.