CONSTANTINE, Mich. (WOOD) — He was the original person of interest in the 2007 kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Jodi Parrack, and he was sent to prison for lying to police.
Now, even after the real killer has confessed and pleaded guilty, Raymond McCann, a former reserve police officer with no other criminal history, remains in prison.
On Wednesday, McCann’s daughter said he should be released.
“They were just so quick to pin it on somebody, and they couldn’t find out who did this,” Ashley McCann said. “They tried to pin it on him and he was innocent.”
She said the suspicions and the investigation — more than 20 police interviews — ruined her father and his family. Most have moved away from Constantine. He lost his job, his car and was arrested the day his grandson was born, she said.
“It’s been very hard,” Ashley McCann said. “It’s been lots of people who’ve been very evil about it. It’s definitely been very hard on our family.”
Constantine Police Chief Mark Honeysett said that while he feels bad for McCann, he deserved to go to prison.
“He’s not in prison for Jodi’s death,” Honeysett said. “He’s in prison for perjury.”
Honeysett said he has no idea why McCann lied to police.
“I wish I could kind of crawl around in his head for a little while,” he said.
St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough said McCann brought it on himself. It started, he said, the night Jodi disappeared in November 2007, when McCann kept suggesting police check the cemetery where her body was later found. Jodi and McCann’s son were friends.
“Just about everybody who was there that evening noticed him acting abnormally,” McDonough said. “We questioned him over and over and, finally, we get the investigative subpoena and he just kept lying.”
>>Inside woodtv.com: Jodi’s mom urges McCann to ‘just tell the truth’
The investigative subpoena was issued in 2012 after cold case investigators started working on the case. The prosecutor said McCann lied about his role in the search, about where he was the day of the murder, and more. He claimed he had been at a Dollar General store when Jodi disappeared, but police said that wasn’t true.
“His behavior and the strange things he did are why he was treated as a suspect, and his dishonesty,” McDonough said.
His daughter says the “lies” were actually inconsistencies — memories changing with time and under the pressure of being an innocent man labeled a person of interest.
“I just hope people realize that he had nothing to do with this, that he was a good person, that he was just trying to help, and they finally caught the real person that did this,” she said.
McCann’s earliest release date is Dec. 17.
“Then I guess he’ll come home and we’ll try to start over, start fresh, try to put this all behind us,” his daughter said. “It’s definitely going to be hard.”
The real killer, Daniel Furlong, 65, who lived not far from the cemetery, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He could get life in prison when he’s sentenced in January.
>>Inside woodtv.com: Jodi’s grandmother says Furlong ‘shouldn’t breathe air’