‘Person of interest’ named in 2000 murder of Molly Bish

Massachusetts

WARREN, Mass. (WPRI/AP) — A “person of interest” has been named in the murder of Molly Bish, a 16-year-old lifeguard who vanished from her post at a Warren, Massachusetts pond in 2000.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. announced Thursday that Francis “Frank” P. Sumner Sr., who died in 2016, is being investigated in the 2000 murder after investigators received new information.

Molly was a resident of Warren and disappeared from her lifeguard post at Comins Pond on June 27, 2000.

Her disappearance set off a massive search. Her remains were found about five miles away in 2003 in nearby Palmer.

Sumner, born in 1945, was active in the central Massachusetts area from 1960 through 2016. Massachusetts State Police said he was known to operate auto repair shops in the Spencer, Leicester and Worcester areas.

Magi and John Bish, Molly’s parents, expressed their gratitude with everyone involved in the case.

“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,” they said in a joint statement. “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.”

The Bish family also thanked the community for the support they’ve received over the years.

“You have buoyed us,” they said. “When they say, it takes a village to raise a child, our village in Warren, Massachusetts has carried our broken hearts, and now helps us heal. We are so grateful for each and everyone of you.”

Detectives with the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s office are asking anyone with information on Sumner or the case in general to call the anonymous tip line at (508) 453-7575.

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