New person of interest sought in 15-year-old murder case

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WARREN, Mass. — Heather Bish and her family continue to search for answers into what happened to her sister Molly.

“It will never be okay to me that somebody took my sister and left her on the side of the mountain,” Heather Bish told WHSM.

On June 27, 2000, the 16-year-old was taken from her lifeguard post at Comins Pond in Warren.

Three years later her remains would be found on Whiskey Hill in Palmer.

Molly’s mother gave a description of a man and his white car that she saw the day she dropped Molly off at work.

Gerald Battistoni, 52, had been a possible suspect in the case.

However, he died just a few days ago from an illness while serving time for raping a teenager back in the 1990s.

Battistoni’s death created a road block in Bish’s hunt for Molly’s killer.

“This is what I have been saying with these unresolved cases. There needs to be that momentum because this is what happens, people die. We’ve had a chief of police die, we’ve had an assistant district attorney, Molly’s boyfriend and one of the key witnesses to the white car. We’ve had a lot of people in this investigation pass away and that leaves holes,” Heather Bish said.

Heather said time is of the essence to fill in order to solve the case, but now a new lead may shed some new light on the mystery.

This past October, the Bish’s along with their private investigator, Sarah Stein, held an event for anyone who felt they may have had information on Molly’s disappearance.

That’s when four independent witnesses all came forward with similar information about one man.

Some of that information is being held so the case will not be jeopardized.

However those witnesses recall the man visiting an old campground in West Brookfield just a couple of miles from where Molly was taken.

They said he left the same day she disappeared.

“And according to the witnesses he returned the next day, the day after molly disappeared and at about 8:30 a.m. and his face was bloody and scratched,” Stein said.

Those witnesses said the man had been yelling about something bad happening in the woods the night before.

But Stein said it was something those witnesses heard the man saying that caught her attention.

“About six months later he was heard bragging that he knew he was a person of interest in Molly’s case but that he had never been interviewed,” Stein said.

Stein has reported the leads to the authorities and now the Massachusetts State Police are looking into them.

Heather said this just goes to prove every detail counts when it comes finding out who is responsible for Molly’s death and she is urging anyone with the slightest bit of information to come forward.

“It might not mean something to them, but to the larger puzzle and to the pieces that are there, it might be that connection,” Heather Bish said.