CENTREVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Eight years to the month after 11-year-old Jodi Parrack was kidnapped and murdered, her grandmother holds onto memories and a handful of photographs.
“That’s Jodi and her mom,” Linda Allbaugh said, pointing to an old photograph. “I’m glad I took pictures. If there’s anything anybody should do is take pictures. Sometimes, that’s all you have.”
After Daniel Furlong pleaded guilty on Thursday to killing Jodi, the girl’s grandmother, like the rest of the family, wanted people to know what he stole from them.
“She was a special person, and she never got a chance in life,” her grandmother said. “He took all those things away: her Sweet 16 birthday, her turning 18. There’s a lot of things you miss out on.”
Allbaugh said she wishes she had been there when Furlong pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He admitted he killed Jodi by putting a bag over her head.
“If I were to see this person face-to-face, I would hurt him,” Allbaugh said. “I would hurt him.”
In November 2007, Jodi’s body was discovered by her mother in the Constantine Township Cemetery, not far from their home.
The murder remained unsolved until August of this year, when an incident involving another girl in the nearby village of White Pigeon helped investigators break the case. Furlong allegedly kidnapped that girl and then attacked her with a knife in his garage. She broke free and told her mom.
Police arrested Furlong and took a DNA sample. That DNA was tested and authorities say it was a match to evidence found on Jodi’s clothing and body.
Jodi’s grandmother said she wants to thank the detectives and prosecutors who didn’t give up, and especially the 10-year-old girl whose escape from Furlong broke the case.
“That little girl who got away is a hero, that’s all I can say,” Allbaugh said. “For some reason, an angel or God or whatever power, she got away.”
Another man, Joseph McCann, was previously sentenced to 20 months in prison for lying during the investigation into Parrack’s death.
According to court documents, the 65-year-old Furlong will receive immunity on felony charges of kidnapping a child by enticement and assault with a dangerous weapon in White Pigeon case.
But he will face up to life in prison with the possibility of parole in Jodi’s case. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 11.
“He shouldn’t get life,” Jodi’s grandmother said. “Death. That’s what he did to her. I believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
“He shouldn’t be able to breathe the air.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: In a previous version of this story, an incorrect photo of Daniel Furlong was used and he was incorrectly referred to as the man sentenced on perjury charges in the case. This story has been updated to reflect the revision. WOOD TV8 apologizes for these errors.