Jodi Parrack’s mom: ‘Just tell the truth’

Jo Gilson, Jodi Parrack's mother, speaks to the media. (April 22, 2014)

CONSTANTINE, Mich. (WOOD) – The mother of Jodi Parrack and a family friend spoke about the girl’s murder Tuesday, saying the person of interest in the 7-year-old cold case should simply tell the truth.

Jo Gilson Tuesday morning spoke to the media in Constantine, reacting to Raymond McCann’s arrest on a perjury charge in connection to her daughter’s November 2007 murder.

“Bittersweet, because, you know, everybody that loves Jodi is glad the case is moving forward,” Gilson said.

Her daughter Jodi Parrack, 11, was found strangled to death in a cemetery in Constantine in November 2007.

Gilson knows McCann — her daughter was friends with his son.

Michigan State Police said McCann was arrested Friday on a perjury charge connected to the case. Police are not calling McCann a suspect in the murder, but they say he lied to them repeatedly during their investigation.

According to an arrest affidavit, McCann lied about how the 11-year-old’s DNA could have gotten in his truck after her body was found. Investigators also accused him of lying about other aspects of his involvement in the case.

“I don’t know why somebody would lie about something so serious,” Gilson said.

She said she doesn’t know whether he would lie to protect himself or someone else.

Julie McCann, who is Raymond McCaan’s sister-in-law, stood with her longtime friend Gilson Tuesday. She said she didn’t see the arrest of her brother-in-law coming.

“The worst thing about it is I’ve been married to (Raymond McCann’s) brother for 20 years and not in a million years would I ever think anything like that out of him,” she said. “But when I (saw) the mug shot with the look in his eyes, I mean, it just sent chills down my spine.”

Both suspected something long ago.

Tuesday, they recalled Raymond McCann’s behavior at Jodi’s funeral.

“He was really upset,” Gilson said. “He was sobbing hysterically and he had to have people help him walk and he kept saying he was sorry.”

She doesn’t remember whether that seemed odd to her then.

“I don’t know. At the time I was still in shock,” she said.

“You would have thought that it was Ray’s daughter. When you look back now, he did overreact and that raised questions for me,” Julie McCaan added.

She said she is on Gilson’s and Jodi’s side, even if it means her brother-in-law is eventually charged with murder.

“It hurts. (Jodi) deserves justice. She deserved it years ago and I don’t care who it is. They did it, they need to be put away they need to pay for what they have done,” Julie McCaan said.

Gilson, meanwhile, had a message for her one-time friend Raymond McCaan:

“Just tell the truth. Get it over with,” she said. “He’s destroyed so many peoples lives just over Jodi, not even his own family, everyone that loves him. too.”

Raymond McCann is expected back in court in May. If convicted of the perjury charge, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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