Molly Bish investigators collect DNA from son and deceased person of interest

WARREN, Mass. — For the first time in years, the family of murdered Warren lifeguard Molly Bish feels like it could be close to finding critical answers, more than twenty years after Molly Bish was abducted and murdered.

“We’ve been trying to figure out who could have done this to Molly. My parents were so afraid it could happen to somebody else,” Heather Bish, Molly’s sister, told me.

Molly Bish vanished on June 27, 2000, on the second day of her lifeguard job at Comins Pond in Warren.

The 16-year-old’s remains were found three years later in the woods of nearby Palmer, Massachusetts.

Molly’s unsolved case stunned central Massachusetts.

This year, the Worcester County DA’s Office publicly identified Francis Sumner, Sr as a person of interest in Molly Bish’s case.

Sumer was a convicted sex offender who died in 2016, but his DNA was never entered into the state’s DNA criminal database.

Sumner resembles the sketch of a man Molly’s mother saw at Comins Pond the day before Molly vanished.

And he had access to a white car, similar to the one the unidentified man in the sketch was driving that day.

This week, investigators told the Bish family that they recently traveled to Ohio to collect DNA from Sumner’s son at a State Prison where he is incarcerated on unrelated charges.

The Bish family hopes that DNA might link Frank Sumner Sr to Molly’s case, and finally lead them to answers.

“We’re very hopeful. These types of analyses take several months, so I think we have some more waiting to do. But I think we are headed in the right direction,” Heather Bish said.

In a statement, Worcester County DA Joseph Early said, “Our State Police Detectives have received and followed up on nearly 100 tips related to Francis Sumner Sr. being named a person of interest, several of which did result in information that has helped to move the case forward. We’d like to thank the people who have provided these tips, and encourage the general public to continue to call in if they have any information that is related to this person of interest or anything else in this case.”