Worcester County to retest DNA evidence in Molly Bish murder

WORCESTER, Mass. — Evidence collected from the murder of a 16-year-old girl in 2000 will be submitted for “enhanced DNA testing” in September, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early.

Early announced Saturday, just a week before the 16th anniversary of the disappearance of Molly Bish, that evidence would be submitted for this testing when the upgraded tests become available.

“The science is always getting better,” Mr. Early said. “We feel that the improved testing will help us in our efforts to identify Molly’s killer or killers.”

Early said the new testing could make degraded samples usable for determining DNA.

Bish, who disappeared on June 27, 2000, just a day after starting a new job as a lifeguard in Warren, Mass., was found dead three years later.

Her remains were in the woods of Whiskey Hill in Palmer, a town near where she went missing.

“John Bish had asked me not to call it a cold case squad because he felt it made it seem the cases were on a shelf somewhere collecting dust,” Mr. Early said. “So I changed it. These cases are not forgotten and they are being worked on continuously. We get tips on Molly’s case every week and we track down every lead.”

Years later, some would link former Southbridge resident Rodney Stanger to the investigation after he was convicted of murdering his girlfriend in Florida. Stanger lived less than a mile from where Bish got her lifeguard certification that summer and may have been seen at the pond where she went missing the day before.

However, no charges have ever been brought.

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