25 Jun 2014

Furlong inquiry being wound down

9:28 pm on 25 June 2014

The mother of Auckland teenager Jane Furlong, who died 20 years ago, is struggling to accept that police are winding down their homicide investigation without having made an arrest.

The 17-year-old was last seen in May 1993 on Karangahape Road, where she had been working as a prostitute. Her body was found buried at a Port Waikato beach, about an hour's drive south from Auckland, in May 2012.

That prompted police to re-open the investigation, which resulted in her former home being excavated and a $50,000 reward offered.

However from 30 June, police said the case will no longer be actively investigated unless new information comes to light.

Jane's mother, Judith Furlong, said it was not welcome news.

"Well I've actually known for a month that they were going to do this. When I first was told, I was absolutely shocked. It's taken me a month - well I don't think I'm over it yet.

"They have always appeared to be so positive and I'm really frustrated that because of the hours they've spent they haven't got a result."

Ms Furlong said she she wishes that police had investigated her daughter's disappearance properly the first time.

But the officer in charge on the investigation, Detective Inspector Mark Benefield, says hundreds of theories and leads but have been explored, and police have exhausted every line of inquiry.

"We believe the members of the public still have that piece of information that could be provided to give us that last piece of the jigsaw puzzle. We've worked very hard on this file. We're obviously disappointed we aren't at a point where we can charge the person responsible for this."

Mr Benefield hoped this final appeal would prompt anyone with any morals who might have information to come forward.

He said he was confident that if the right people give the right information, police would be able to tell the Furlong family who is responsible for the death.