WARREN, Mass. — 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 Massachusetts pond in 2000.


Magdalen Bish, left, holds a pillow with an image of her daughter Molly Bish, while Molly’s father, John Bish, speaks with reporters in their Warren, Mass., home, in 2003, the year Molly’s remains were found. Steven Senne/Associated Press

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

Sumner, born in 1945, lived and worked in the central Massachusetts area from 1960 through 2016, according to investigators. He was known to operate auto repair shops in the Spencer, Leicester and Worcester areas. Sumner lived in Spencer before his death.

Investigators said they are seeking tips from the public about Sumner’s employment practices, associates, vehicles, travel and any known habits.

Molly Bish was a resident of Warren and her disappearance set off a massive search.

Her remains were found about 5 miles away in 2003 in the woods of Whiskey Hill in nearby Palmer.

In 2017, the family of Bish released a video in which her mother, Magi Bish, speaks directly to the abductor about the day her daughter disappeared.

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