• Arrest made raises hope for unsolved murder of Holly Piirainen

    Updated:

    STURBRIDGE, Mass. - An unsolved case that's been intriguing police for the past 24 years has been brought back to focus after an arrest was made for a similar case. 

    The story of the abduction and murder of Holly Piirainen has been on of the state's most disturbing unsolved cases, and to this day, it remains unsolved. 

    On August 5, 1993, Holly Piirainen and her brother were looking at puppies near her grandmother's cottage in Sturbridge.

    She disappeared without a trace, and all that was left of the 10-year-old girl was one of her shoes left on the road. 

    Despite a massive search, Holly's body wasn't found until three months later on Oct. 23, 1993.

    Over the years, police have been looking at a list of potential suspects, however, none of which led to solving the case. 

    Holly's family never lost hope, and last week they were reminded to keep their faith.

    The same DA and State Police working Holly's case announced they broke another big case: the 1992 abduction and murder of Lisa Ziegert. 

    Authorities say a DNA match led to them a man named Gary Schara. 

    His DNA will now be run against other unsolved cases like Holly's. In the meantime, Holly's family has their own questions that have been haunting them for years. 

    Maureen LeMieux, Holly's grandmother, wonders if the suspect was even from the area. 

    "Is he familiar with the Sturbridge area? Where has he been the last 25 years? There's a lot of questions that we don't know about him," LeMieux said. 

    Right now, there is no publicly known link between Schara and the murder of Holly Piirainen. Yet, now that he's under arrest, detectives who worked the Ziegert case, are now focusing on Holly's Piirainen's case.

    Today, Holly would've been 34-years-old.  

    Holly Piirainen's family is hoping that all this talk about the DNA and the suspects may finally cause someone to speak up and talk to police about what may have happened to Holly. They also want to emphasize that the reward for this case is now up to $40,000.

    Next Up: