Updated: Jul 13
As seen in The Ada News
Article by host Raven Rollins
When some of us think of the summer of 1995, we get a bit nostalgic. We fondly remember Clueless, Pulp Fiction, Michael Jordan, and “Kiss from a Rose”. Some of us attended summer camp or spent days swimming in the local watering hole and nights near the campfire gazing at the stars. For others, 1995 was tragic, from the death of rising star Selena to the murder trial of former football star O.J. Simpson. For Daniel Furr's family, the summer of '95 was the beginning of a lifelong nightmare.
On July 11, 1995, a local Boy Scout troop came across a body at the bottom of a rock pit near an old brick plant close to a church they always met for Boy Scout meetings. Within 24 hours, the body was identified as that of Ada, Oklahoma resident Daniel Furr. After a short investigation, the case went cold. However, it is what happened - and what did not - during that investigation that makes this case so bizarre.
In 2022, Gale Whitson, Daniel's mother, and Chelsea Phelps, Daniel's sister, asked The Sirens Podcast team to look at what they had collected from the local sheriff's department and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office. The Sirens Podcast uncovered statements that were never followed up on, witnesses never interviewed, alibis never explored, a questionable dental comparison that identified the body, and the most disturbing of all, an autopsy report that contradicts not only itself but Daniel's physical description at the time.
In the autopsy report, the ME's office describes the body twice, both different from the other. The interesting thing is that neither description fit that of Daniel, who was 5' 10", 150 lbs, with buzz-cut short brown hair. Officials also describe the body as having shoulder-length black hair and being approximately 25 years of age.
The photo below of Daniel with his grandmother was taken shortly before his disappearance.
Within Daniel's case files are dental reports where the comparison was made by the ME's odontologist to identify the body found. The body's was compared to Daniel's, however, Daniel's was 4 years old, having been taken when he was 11, and he had lost and grown teeth by that time, making it very unlikely a comparison would yield a match.
There are no real concrete answers in Daniel's case after 28 years, only more questions. Did the sheriff's department run out of leads? Did any of Daniel's peers witness or participate in Daniel's murder, or did they merely boast about it for acceptance from local gangs? Was the body found in the quarry misidentified due to an overwhelming system in the months after the Oklahoma City Bombing? Why did the medical examiner initially describe one physical finding of the body only to change it later?
Daniel Furr was only 15 years old at the time. His family has gone without definitives and peace for 28 years. Could it also be possible that another man occupies Daniel's resting place? The family hopes opening a new investigation into Daniel's case can bring answers after all these years.
In this Sirens: A Southern True Crime Podcast episode, you will hear exclusive interviews with Gale and Chelsea. They will pose questions that compel the listener to think twice about what happened during that cruel summer of 1995. It will air on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other listening platforms on the 28th anniversary of the discovery of the body, July 11, 2023, at midnight.
Working with Abbie De Vera and Alex Cash from Fox23, we got Daniel's case featured on the 10 o'clock local news. Check that out here.
Please sign, listen, and share our petition on change.org linked below.
Listen to our episode here:
Did we mention that as of 2019, the OSBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information in this case? Anyone with information is asked to contact the OSBI at (800) 522-8017 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.