Anna Leask

Anna Leask is a police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Jane Furlong gets a final farewell

Jane Furlong , photo released by NZ Police
Jane Furlong , photo released by NZ Police

A funeral has finally been held for murdered teenager Jane Furlong - almost 19 years after she vanished from Auckland's red light district.

Ms Furlong, a part-time sex worker, was last seen by friends on Auckland's Karangahape Rd in May 1993.

Police had been searching for her since but a breakthrough in the case came only two months ago when her skeleton was found at Port Waikato's Sunset Beach.

It had been buried deep within the sand dunes but years of erosion uncovered her skull, which was spotted by a woman walking her dog.

Today Ms Furlong's family and friends gathered to say goodbye to the mother-of-one at St George's Anglican Church in Epsom, Auckland.

Her son Aidan, who was just 5 months old when she went missing, was at the service with his father Danny Norsworthy - Ms Furlong's boyfriend at the time of her disappearance.

The theme of the service was "found", and mourners who filled the church were told to focus on what they knew of Ms Furlong rather than unanswered questions about her death.

Ms Furlong's mother Judith spoke at the service.

She spoke of a bright and outgoing young woman who was haunted by her troubled life.

Mrs Furlong said she always felt Jane would come through the tough times and sort her life out.

A photo slideshow was played to one of Ms Furlong's favourite songs - Sweet Child O' Mine by 80s rock band Guns N' Roses.

Members of the police team leading the investigation into Ms Furlong's death, named Operation Darlia, also attended the funeral.

Among them was Detective Inspector Mark Benefield, who worked on some of the initial inquiries into Ms Furlong's disappearance.

- NZ Herald

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