• Holly Piirainen: Family holding first vigil ahead of 25-year anniversary

    By: Bob Ward

    Updated:

    STURBRIDGE, Mass. - Tuesday will mark a dark anniversary; it will be 25 years since the body of Holly Piirainen was found in the woods of Brimfield weeks after the 10-year-old disappeared. 

    Hunters found Holly's body two months after she vanished from Sturbridge, where she and her family were just beginning a vacation. There has never been an arrest in her case. 

    In 25 years, Holly Piirainen's family has never stopped looking for Holly's killer. Now, as the sad anniversary approaches, the family is taking its search to a whole new level.

    "It's just as raw as it was 25 years ago."

    >> New England's Unsolved: Holly Piirainen 25 Years Later

    For Holly's grandmother Maureen LeMieux and the rest of Holly's family, this is a brutal time of year. 

    "During the rest of the year, you go on with your life. We remember her and miss her, but a time like this, with all the attention, brings it all back. Like it happened yesterday," said LeMieux.

    On Sunday, Holly's family will hold a tips campaign at the Sturbridge Host Hotel from noon to 6 p.m. The family's cold case consultant will be available to take tips from anyone, about who is responsible for Holly's murder.

    "We're hoping we'll get some information that will lead us to the person that did this," said LeMieux.

    This tips campaign comes at a time when state police investigators are refocusing on the Piirainen case. Recently, they've conducted a new round of DNA tests of potential suspects and witnesses, but Sunday's event is about more than the investigation. On Sunday night at the hotel, the family will hold a vigil for Holly they will never forget. 

    "I remember her as a little girl that she was and that she always will be," said LeMieux.

    This will be the first vigil ever held for Holly Piirainen. In previous years, the family has preferred to mark this sad anniversary in private, but this year, the family says, is different. This year, they are hoping justice is close.

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