Warning: The following story contains details that some viewers may find disturbing.
CENTREVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Daniel Furlong’s wide-ranging taped confession into the murder of 11-year-old Jodi Parrack provided new details into the death and, for the first time, a possible connection between Furlong and the family of 6-year-old Brittney Beers, who disappeared a decade earlier.
Target 8 obtained the taped confession on Wednesday via the Freedom of Information Act.
Cigarette in hand, Furlong was calm as he recalled the November 2007 murder. He was cleaning his garage, he said, when he noticed Jodi on her bicycle.
“I asked this girl to come over to help me move some stuff. She got off her bike came up to the house. That’s when I grabbed her, took her into the garage, threw her in the back of this boat that was in the garage,” the tape shows him recount as authorities listen.
He said he didn’t know her and learned her name only after she was dead.
In the video, Furlong shows authorities how he zip-tied Jodi’s hands behind her back. She didn’t fight him, he said, and she didn’t scream.
“She said, ‘Will you let me go?'” he remembered. “I said, ‘I can’t let you go, honey.'”
He said he molested her but didn’t rape her and that he kept her in the boat for about half an hour.
“I got her out of the boat,” he said. “By that time, it was dark out and I thought, ‘Well, get her in my truck,’ and I thought, ‘Now what am I going to do?'”
She was still alive when put her in his pickup truck. Already in the truck was a plastic grocery bag from Meijer. Once at the nearby Constantine Township Cemetery, he said, he put the bag over her head.
When asked why, he responded, “I don’t know.”
“I don’t even know why. By that time, I was panicking. I just wanted to get out of there,” he continued.
She was still gasping, he said, when he drove away — though detectives questioned that.
Jodi’s mother later discovered her body in the cemetery. It would be nearly eight years before police identified Furlong as her killer.
OTHER MAN ARRESTED IN CASE
Investigators on Jodi’s case did, however, arrest another man in April 2014 for lying to them.
Raymond McCann was a reserve officer with the Constantine Police Department when Jodi died. He was suspended shortly thereafter because he was a person of interest in the death.
Furlong said he didn’t know McCann, though he did know his grandfather. When McCann was charged with perjury, police told 24 Hour News 8 it looked like he could be the murderer.
“I just thought I was in the clear,” Furlong remembered thinking when he heard about McCann’s arrest.
McCann pleaded no contest to perjury, was sentenced to time in prison and was released in December 2015. Though it turned out he didn’t kill Jodi, police have told 24 Hour News 8 the perjury conviction was justified.
At the time of the murder, Furlong lived just around the corner from the Constantine Police Department and not far from Jodi’s home. But he was never even a person of interest in the murder until after he attacked a 10-year-old girl in the nearby village of White Pigeon in August 2015.
That girl escaped, and the incident turned out to be the break in Jodi’s case that investigators had been waiting for since 2007.
Furlong, 65, was arrested and police took a DNA sample. He said Jodi never crossed his mind as they collected the swab.
“I thought, ‘Uh-oh, oh God, I forgot all about this,'” he said.
His DNA matched evidence found on Jodi’s clothing and body. Furlong was soon charged in Jodi’s death. He confessed to killing Jodi and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November.
He is expected to get life with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on Monday.
ANOTHER GIRL A DECADE BEFORE JODI DIED
Police are also looking into whether Furlong could have been responsible for the 1997 disappearance of 6-year-old Brittney Beers in Sturgis.
In the video, prosecutors said Furlong’s family had a connection to Beers’ family. St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough said that Furlong had worked at the Beers’ concession stand at a race track.
“My wife worked there; I did not,” Furlong told the prosecutor. “I did not work there.”
“But you were there,” McDonough replied.
“I was out there, yeah, but I didn’t know who owned the concession stand or nothing like that,” Furlong said.
He denied knowing the Beers family and taking Brittney, who has never been found.
“I know nothing,” Furlong said. “I’ll take a polygraph test. I don’t care.”
He did take a polygraph test, but police won’t say whether he passed it. They did say he’s still a suspect in the Beers case.