Furlong was to be court witness
Thu, 21 Jun 2012 9:10a.m.
Auckland teen prostitute Jane Furlong was due to give testimony in trials against gang members and a sex attacker before she mysteriously disappeared 19 years ago.
Ms Furlong, a 17-year-old mother, was last seen alive on Auckland’s Karangahape Road in May 1993.
Last month her remains were found in Port Waikato causing police to reopen their homicide investigation and they have since been canvassing Port Waikato residents, hoping people will come forward with any information.
They are also revisiting the investigation that was launched when she first went missing.
Hundreds of inquiries have been made since the initial investigation phase in 1993, and renewed investigations were also opened in 1996 and 2007.
The day after she went missing, Ms Furlong was due to testify at the trial of Stephen Collie, who was later found guilty of sexual offences against seven prostitutes and jailed for 16 years.
Ms Furlong’s son Aiden, who was 6-months-old at the time, was also a witness in another gang-related murder trial.
The officer in charge of the original investigation into Ms Furlong's disappearance, former detective Dayle Candy, says Ms Furlong was never put at risk by her involvement in their investigations.
But there were people out there with the motivation for her to disappear, she told Radio New Zealand.
However, she was unwilling to comment on the cases Ms Furlong was due to testify in.
She believes people too scared to give information to police 19 years ago may now come forward.
The officer in charge of the new investigation, Detective Inspector Mark Benefield, says it is pleasing to have some evidence to work with.
"We need information from anyone who, over the past 19 years, has been living with the knowledge that Jane was killed and buried in a lonely and cold sandy grave."
Ms Furlong's body was found in sand dunes at Sunset Beach by a woman walking her dog, and forensic investigators say due to the condition the remains were found in positive identification was difficult.
“It’s quite different to blood and semen which are generally good sources of DNA, bone is hard and tough so there’s quite a rigorous process involved in terms of trying to get a result from it," says ESR’s forensic programme manager Jill Vintiner. “But the science is there, the technology has developed and we’ve got the outcome that we have.”
Family and friends of Ms Furlong say they plan to finally lay her to rest.
Missing persons expert Scott Bainbridge has spoken to Judith Furlong, Ms Furlong's mum, told RadioLIVE the family is now trying to move on.
“It does bring a sense of closure in some respect in that they can now give Jane the burial that she deserves, however it also opens up further questions as to how she managed to be there and obviously who killed her,” says Mr Bainbridge.
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28/06/2012 8:03:03 p.m.
I truly hope they find this now womens killer, it is really sad and no one deserves to die alone like her.
21/06/2012 6:23:30 p.m.
hope you ok Aiden, where ever you are
21/06/2012 12:47:57 p.m.
Sensing Murder said her body was in a building site. Any comments, Kelvin??
21/06/2012 12:28:11 p.m.
I remember watching Sensing Murder and a story about Jane was featured in one of its episodes before.
So glad that her body has finally been found and that her family can now find closure to lay her to a proper resting place.
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