Real Name: Molly Anne Bish
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Warren, Massachusetts
Date: June 27, 2000
Date of Birth: August 2, 1983
Weight: 127 pounds
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female, Blond hair, blue eyes.
Details: Molly Bish was a Detroit, Michigan native, but her family moved to Warren, Massachusetts to, ironically, escape the urban violence. Fifteen years later, she got a job as a lifeguard at Comins Pond in Warren. On June 27, 2000, her mother, Magi Bish, dropped her off at the pond. Three hours later, she received an alarming phone call from a police officer. Several people had reported that there was no lifeguard at the pond. She rushed there, where she found Molly's flip flops, chair, first aid kit, radio, and lunch sitting on the shore. However, there was no sign of her.
Police searched the pond and the surrounding woods. However, Molly could not be found. Although there was no struggle at the scene, police and her family were convinced that she was abducted. Magi now believes that she may have seen Molly's abductor on the day before her disappearance.
After Molly's disappearance, her family created a website to try and publicize the case. They also set up an email chain to get word out about it; over 30,000 people received emails about her disappearance. In 2001, famous sketch artist Jeanne Boylan helped Magi make a composite of Molly's abductor. For nine hours, they chatted and Jeanne worked on the composite. When it was finished, Magi felt that it was accurate, except that it did not have the man holding a cigarette. The next day, Jeanne updated it; Magi was certain that it was identical to the man she had seen. Despite it, no trace of Molly or her abductor have been found.
Molly's disappearance has turned her parents into staunch child safety advocates. They hope that, through their efforts, they can prevent children from becoming victims.
Suspects: On June 26, the day before Molly vanished, Magi took her to the pond. When they pulled up to the parking lot, she noticed a man parked there and smoking a cigarette in a late model white car. She escorted Molly down to her post, but when she returned to her car, the man was still there. She waited in her car for several minutes until he finally left.
However, he was not there when Magi dropped Molly off. A sand truck driver reported seeing him parked in the parking lot just minutes before Magi and Molly arrived. Later that day, a worker noticed a similar car parked at a nearby cemetery connected to the pond by a path. A sketch of the man was made and circulated. Despite a thorough investigation, no identification has been made.
He has brown hair, dark eyes, and was approximately fifty years old at the time of Molly's disappearance. He is possibly a heavy smoker. Though no suspects have been named, the police have several people of interest.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 4, 2002 episode. It was also featured on Haunting Evidence, America’s Most Wanted, and Disappeared.
Results: Unresolved. Three years after Molly vanished, her body was found five miles from the pond at a place called Whiskey Hill. Although no cause of death could be determined, the manner of death was ruled a homicide. Her killer has not yet been apprehended, but the case remains open and active. A $100,000 reward is being offered for information on it.
Although the case remains unsolved, there have been several people of interest identified. In 2007, a sex offender named Robert Burno was named one after he tried to abduct and assault a jogger in Brimfield, a few miles from Warren. He also matches the suspect's description.
In 2009, convicted murderer Rodney Stanger was named a suspect in Molly's murder. He had lived in the same area as her family at the time of her disappearance. He also lived close to the YMCA where she took her lifeguard certification classes. He was also known to frequent the pond and the wooded area where her body was found. He also matched the suspect's composite. Finally, before her murder, his girlfriend claimed that he may have been involved in murders in Massachusetts.
Surprisingly, in 2011, another sex offender named Gerald Battistoni was named a suspect in Molly's murder. He also resembled the composite and had frequented the area where her body was found. His rape victim also lived near the pond. He died in November 2014.
To add to the mystery, a ten-year-old girl named Holly Kristen Piirainen, who lived near Warren, was abducted and murdered seven years before Molly was. Interestingly, Molly had written a letter to Holly's family shortly after she disappeared. Both cases are similar, but Holly's has not been featured in the series. Forensic evidence eventually connected a deceased man named David Pouilot to it. Authorities are still investigating Holly's murder, but charges have not yet been filed.
In June 2016, it was announced that "enhanced DNA testing" would be applied to 24 pieces of evidence that have yet to be tested.
In June 2017, investigators claimed to have found "compelling" information in the case. The information led to a West Brookfield campground where the car used in Molly's abduction was alleged to be buried. Multiple areas of interest were found using ground penetrating radar.
The information was about a new person of interest who lived at the campground around the time of Molly's abduction. At the time, he owned a white Buick LeSabre, similar to the one seen at the pond. A witness claimed that the man told him that "something bad happened" and that he was "in the woods all night" when Molly vanished. He also allegedly had bloody scratches on his face. However, he denied any involvement in the case and it is unknown if anything was found during the 2017 search.
None of the people of interest have ever been charged in the case, and it is unknown which one, if any of them, are responsible.
- Molly Bish on Unsolved.com
- Molly Bish on Wikipedia
- Molly Bish Memorial Site
- Man questioned in death of Molly Bish, due to go on trial in Florida in slaying of girlfriend
- Molly Bish, Rodney Stanger may have crossed paths
- Rapist's death may shed light on Holly Piiranien, Molly Bish cases
- New Evidence in Molly Bish case
- Prosecutors to submit evidence in Molly Bish cold case for 'enhanced DNA testing' (June 2016)
- Investigators: 'Compelling' Information Found in Molly Bish Case
- Person of interest in Bish case denies involvement
- Family of murdered lifeguard addresses killer 17 years later
- Molly Bish on Find a Grave