Death of Molly Bish

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Molly Bish
File:Molly Bish.jpg
Born (1983-08-02)August 2, 1983
Warren, Massachusetts
Disappeared June 27, 2000(2000-06-27) (aged 16)
Warren, Massachusetts
Status Remains recovered June 9, 2003

Molly Anne Bish (August 2, 1983 – c. June 27, 2000) was a sixteen-year-old American girl, who disappeared while working as a lifeguard in rural Massachusetts. Her body was found three years later after the largest search in the history of Massachusetts.

Disappearance

In the summer of 2000, Bish worked as a lifeguard at Comins Pond in Warren.[1] The day before her disappearance, her mother Magi Bish claimed that she saw a man in a white sedan in the parking lot of the beach where her daughter's lifeguard post was positioned.[2] Although the man looked suspicious to Magi, she had forgotten about him until after Molly's disappearance. The last witness to see Molly before she went missing was her mother. Molly was wearing a blue bathing suit.[1]

An extensive search took place to find Molly Bish. It was the largest and most expensive search for a missing person ever held in Massachusetts. Her case was profiled on the American television shows Disappeared, America's Most Wanted,[2] Unsolved Mysteries,[3] and 48 Hours.[1] On June 9, 2003, Bish's remains were found five miles from her family home.[4] A hunter had seen a blue bathing suit in the woods on Whiskey Hill in Palmer, Massachusetts, in the late fall of 2002. In May 2003, he mentioned this to Tim McGuigan, who then made the possible connection to Molly Bish and contacted police. An intense search of the area soon located Molly's remains.

Molly's parents, Magi and John Bish, have started The Molly Bish Foundation in Molly's memory, with the goal to spread the word about child safety.[5]

Suspects and developments

As of October 2015, there have been no arrests in the case.[6]

In 2005 a Connecticut resident charged with attempted kidnapping in Connecticut was briefly under investigation for links to the Bish case.[7]

In 2009 a new suspect was investigated. Rodney Stanger, a Florida resident charged (later convicted) with murdering his girlfriend in Florida, had lived in Southbridge, Massachusetts – a few miles from the town of Warren – for more than 20 years, moving to Florida a year after the Bish murder.[8][9][10] The sister of Crystal Morrison, Stanger's live-in girlfriend of 20 years, alerted the Massachusetts authorities about Stanger following her sister's Florida death. Stanger was known to have access to a white car similar to that seen the day before Bish's disappearance, was known to fish in Comins Pond, was known to hunt in the woods where Bish's body was found, and closely matches the composite provided by Bish's mother of the man seen in the white car the day before the murder.[11] Stanger has not been charged in the Bish case.

In 2009, when Stanger was investigated in the Bish murder, police also questioned him in connection with the 1993 murder of Holly Piirainen in Southbridge.[12] Bish and Piirainen were born the same year, and Bish had written a letter of hope to Piirainen's parents in 1993. Stanger was not charged in this case. In 2012, forensic evidence led authorities to name David Pouliot — who died in 2003 — as a person of interest in the Piirainen case.[5][13]

In November 2011 Gerald Battistoni, a.k.a. Confidential Informant #62 for the Eastern Hampden County Narcotic Task Force, was named as a suspect in Bish's death by private detective Dan Malley of Massachusetts. Battistoni is currently serving a prison sentence for repeatedly raping a teenaged girl in the early 1990s. He attempted suicide in prison after newspaper articles identified him as a potential suspect in Bish and Piirainen's deaths.[14] Battistoni, who has a criminal record dating back to 1980, had been in the area where Bish's bones were found and resembles a composite sketch of the man Bish's mother saw in the parking lot on the day before her daughter disappeared.[15]

Bish's family has requested that additional DNA testing be performed by the state of Massachusetts.

After Gerald Battistoni was named as a suspect, Private Detective Dan Malley and the Bish family asked for DNA testing to be done. Massachusetts state police sent the DNA evidence to Texas.[14][16][17][18]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Where's Molly? Bay State Mystery". CBS News. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Missing children". Archived from the original on February 2, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Unsolved Mysteries - Molly Bish". Archived from the original on September 10, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Molly Bish's remains identified". WCVB-TV. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "14 years ago Molly Bish vanished, family still wants justice - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25". MyFoxBoston. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Loiaconi, Stephen (April 16, 2013). "New tests planned on evidence in Molly Bish case". HLN. Retrieved October 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Bish parents speak of impact of arrest - The Boston Globe". Boston.com. November 21, 2005. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. [1][dead link]
  9. [2] Archived July 23, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Rodney Stanger sentenced to 25 years for murder of girlfriend". Ocala.com. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. [3][dead link]
  12. [4][dead link]
  13. "Cold Case Murder of Holly Piirainen, 10, Linked to Dead Man". ABC News. Retrieved January 3, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Jailed rapist apparently attempts suicide". Telegram.com. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "A break in unsolved Bish, Piirainen slayings?". Telegram.com. Retrieved November 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "FBI Joins Molly Bish Investigation". WGGB Springfield.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Molly Bish Murder Investigation: Police Outsource DNA Testing Of Evidence". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Gerald Battistoni, man eyed in murder of Massachusetts girls Molly Bish and Holly Piirainen, apparently attempts suicide in prison". Masslive.com. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links