After lie test, Jodi’s killer still focus in 2nd case

Daniel Furlong walks into court to plead guilty to second-degree murder for the death of Jodi Parrack. (Nov. 19, 2015)


STURGIS, Mich. (WOOD) — Daniel Furlong, the confessed killer of 11-year-old Jodi Parrack, has taken a polygraph test about the disappearance of another girl years ago.

While police won’t say if he passed or failed, they said they can’t eliminate him as a suspect in the 1997 disappearance of 6-year-old Brittney Beers.

A 1997 file photo of Brittney Beers.
A 1997 file photo of Brittney Beers.

“He is right where he was before, which is right at the top of my list,” Sturgis Director of Public Safety Geoff Smith told Target 8 on Tuesday. “He’s not No. 1, but he’s up there with one or two other people that we haven’t been able to clear.”

Smith, Michigan State Police and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office questioned Furlong on and off for five hours just before Christmas. That meeting included a polygraph test, Smith said.

Their focus: the abduction of Brittney Beers in September 1997 in Sturgis. She’s never been found.

Smith helped search for Brittney at the time and said the investigation is personal.

“I can tell you that he’s denying any involvement,” he said. “Is that truthful or not? I can’t tell you that with certainty.”

FURLONG ADMITTED KILLING OTHER GIRL

Furlong, now 65, became a focus in Brittney’s case after he was caught in August trying to kidnap a young neighbor girl in White Pigeon.

That arrest and a DNA match led to his confession in the rape and murder of 11-year-old Jodi Parrack of Constantine in 2007.

Jodi Parrack (File photo)
Jodi Parrack (File photo)

Furlong lived in Constantine at the time, but had never been identified as a person of interest.

Furlong pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Jodi’s case in exchange for immunity for any other crimes he committed in St. Joseph County — as long as he told the truth in a polygraph test. He could face life with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on Jan. 11.

“There doesn’t appear to be any reason as far as punishment goes as to why, if you were involved, you wouldn’t just explain it, talk about it,” Smith said.

Police say their best evidence in Brittney’s disappearance is a composite image of a man last seen with her. They say it looks a lot like Furlong.

A composite sketch of a suspect in the 1997 disappearance of Brittney Beers.
A composite sketch of a suspect in the 1997 disappearance of Brittney Beers.

“It’s possible he wasn’t involved and he’s just not good at telling the truth, either,” Smith said.

The chief said he asked Furlong how anybody in their 50s could start with a crime as brutal as Jodi’s murder. Furlong lured Jodi into his garage, raped her, then strangled her with a plastic bag before dumping her body in a nearby cemetery.

Furlong, who has no other criminal record, told detectives that Jodi is the only girl he’s killed.

BRITTNEY’S FAMILY: ‘AT LEAST TELL THE TRUTH’

Daniel Furlong pleads guilty to second-degree murder for the death of Jodi Parrack. (Nov. 19, 2015)
Daniel Furlong pleads guilty to second-degree murder for the death of Jodi Parrack. (Nov. 19, 2015)

Smith said detectives now plan to piece together Furlong’s life in the late 1990s, around the time Brittney disappeared. If they find he took her, they will charge him with the crime, since that would mean he lied to police and violated his plea deal, Smith said.

Brittney’s grandfather, Leonard Beers, was hoping for better news. He said the uncertainty has torn his family.

“I would like him to at least tell the truth,” Beers said. “He’s not going to get in any more trouble than he already is because they’ve already said he’s not going to.”

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