Arrest made in connection to Jodi Parrack murder

CONSTANTINE, Mich. (WOOD) — A person of interest is in police custody in connection with the 2007 disappearance and murder of an 11-year-old girl in southwest Michigan.

Jodi Parrack’s body was found by her mother in the Constantine Township Cemetery in November 2007. She had been strangled. Her killer has never been found.

Police at the Constantine Township Cemetery, where Jodi Parrack's body was discovered. (November 2007 file image)
(Police at the Constantine Township Cemetery, where Jodi Parrack’s body was discovered. November 2007 file image)

Raymond Emmett McCann, 46, of Constantine was arrested Friday and charged with perjury in connection to the case, according to Michigan State Police.

“I can’t get into all of the details, but there are some things that happened that night that he isn’t being all that honest about,” Constantine Police Chief Jim Bedell said.

Bedell said investigators do not have any other persons of interest in Jodi’s murder.

McCann knew Jodi — his son was friends with her, authorities say. McCann’s house is one of the first places Jodi’s mother went to look for her daughter the night she went missing, according to an arrest affidavit for McCann.

Constantine police also confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that McCann was a reserve officer with the police department at the time of Jodi’s disappearance. He was suspended by the department shortly after Jodi went missing because he was a person of interest in the case, police said.

The arrest affidavit says investigators found “multiple inconsistencies” between McCann’s statement about his whereabouts the evening of Nov. 8, 2007 and cellphone records and statements from multiple witnesses.

Police became suspicious of McCann after he suggested to four people that they check the cemetery for Jodi after she disappeared, the document says.

“It should be noted that over the course of nearly an hour and a half of making this suggestion, McCann himself did not ever search this location,” the affidavit reads in part.

Investigators also allege in the document that McCann’s behavior upon the discovery of Jodi’s body seemed “unnatural.”

“Investigators became increasingly suspicious of possible involvement,” the affidavit says.

The affidavit also states that “the victim’s body contained injuries to both of her wrist consistent with the application of handcuffs,” to which McCann would have had access as a reserve officer.

And according to the affidavit, McCann lied to investigators about how Jodi’s DNA could have been discovered in his pickup truck. He allegedly told investigators that Jodi’s mother, Jo Gilson, had hugged him and sat in his truck to warm up at one point, and he also allegedly said he pulled Gilson away from Jodi’s body after it was found in the cemetery. According to the affidavit, investigators found neither of those things were true.

Sources told 24 Hour News 8 McCann failed three polygraph tests that asked questions about who killed Jodi.

“A red flag went up on the person they arrested because they did three lie detector tests on this man, and he failed all three,”  Jodi’s grandmother Linda Allbuagh told 24 Hour News 8. “He knows something, and he’s hiding something.”

Police have not yet called McCann a suspect, but said that if he wasn’t involved in Jodi’s death, he needs to tell them now who is responsible. If convicted of perjury, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

“It’s 11-year-old girl. That’s why it sticks in my craw. That’s basically why I took this job, to try and solve it,” Bedell said. “It drives you crazy after a while.”

Retired from MSP, Bedell was not with the Constantine police when Jodi was killed. Now, he has only 39 days until he retires from his post as chief.

“I’m running out of time,” he said.

He hopes McCann’s arrest will lead to some answers.

“One step closer. Hopefully, something comes out of this,” Bedell said.

Bedell gives much of the credit for the arrest to MSP cold case Detective Bryan Fuller. Both men say they would like to see the case closed and retire knowing Jodi can rest in peace.

Parrack’s mother also thanked Fuller for his work in a message to WNDU out of South Bend:

“I would like to thank Detective Bryan Fuller for his hard work and dedication in this case and for believing in me during this investigation. Without him, I truly believe this case wouldn’t be as far as it is today. Jodi’s family is very glad that Ray has finally been arrested but it’s bittersweet as most of his family is like family to us.”

Jodi is buried in a White Pigeon cemetery.

Jodi Parrack's gravestone in White Pigeon. (April 21, 2014)
(Jodi Parrack’s gravestone in White Pigeon.)

Jodi’s mother is expected to speak about the case at 11 p.m. Tuesday at the Constantine police department. 24 Hour News 8 plans to be there and will have the latest for you as it develops.

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