“Person of interest” identified in disappearance and death of teenager Molly Bish
(CNN) –A “person of interest” has been identified in the 2000 death of Massachusetts teenager, officials announced on Thursday.
The announcement by the Worcester County District Attorney’s office comes just weeks before the 21st anniversary of the disappearance of Molly Bish on June 27, 2000.
Francis “Frank” P. Sumner Sr, who was previously convicted of sexual assault and kidnapping, is being investigated after law enforcement recently received new information. Sumner died in 2016.
Bish’s parents said they are hopeful there will a resolution to the investigation into their daughter’s death, as reported by CNN.
“Our hearts are heavy with our loss and the reality of what may have happened to our daughter, but we are hopeful that there will be resolution and that no one else will ever be harmed,” Magi and John Bish said in statement released by the district attorney’s office.
Sumner was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 21-year-old woman in 1981, officials said.
“Sumner, born in 1945, was active in the Central Massachusetts area from 1960 through 2016,” according to the news release. “He was known to operate auto repair shops in the Spencer, Leicester and Worcester areas. Sumner lived in Spencer prior to his death.”
Bish was dropped off to her lifeguard job by her mom on the morning of June 27. Her backpack, lifeguard chair and beach towel were later found alone.
Her remains and part of her swimsuit were found three years after her disappearance. Bish was buried on what would have been her 20th birthday.
“We are proud of Molly’s legacy of keeping children safe, advocating for families, and we feel it most strongly right now, reflected in our community,” her parents said in the statement. “Thank you to those brave people who provided tips and information to the detectives. We recognize how hard and scary that can be.”
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