You might hear stories about terrible things happening to people, but it all seems so distant. You never think they could happen to you, right? However, in just the blink of an eye, your entire life can change.
In a rural Massachusetts town, teenager Molly Bish was just like any other ordinary student. She was out of school for the summer, and she was enjoying spending time with her friends and putting in hours at her part-time job.
Molly had no idea that, one fateful morning that summer, her life would be brutally taken from her. The scariest thing about this crime? Her killer is still at large…
On June 27, 2000, Massachusetts teen Molly Bish showed up the local pond at 1o a.m. to start her shift as a lifeguard. Twenty minutes later, a woman and her children arrived at the pond to find that the lifeguard had vanished. Molly’s disappearance would remain a mystery for three years.
It was highly uncharacteristic for Molly to disappear. She loved the summertime—and she loved swimming. That’s why she didn’t mind offering up her Saturdays to train for her summer job at Comins Pond. She had just finished her junior year in high school, and she was excited about what the future would hold.
On the day of her disappearance, Molly’s mother, Magi, dropped her off at the pond. She said that the parking lot was totally empty. She would never forget the sight of Molly waving goodbye in the rearview mirror…
When Sandra Woodworth and her kids arrived at the ponds minutes later, Molly was gone. “The first aid kit was wide open,” Sandra recalled. “Backpack was on the beach, her towel was draped over the back of the chair, sandals were in front, the Poland Springs water bottle was right there. But there was no Molly.”
Molly’s boss, Ed Fetr, arrived at the pond as quickly as he could once he heard that his lifeguard was gone. He knew immediately that he had to call the police and Molly’s family. The police assumed she had ditched work to hang out with friends, but everyone who’d ever met Molly knew that she would never do something like that.
“She took her work very seriously,” said Molly’s sister, Heather. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that she would have done anything to jeopardize that.” Molly’s mother agreed, saying, “She would never just leave her job. We knew it.”
Once the policed realized that Molly was likely not playing hooky, they began to fear that she had drowned. Again, Molly’s family disagreed. Molly hated the slimy feel of the bottom of the lake and never went in without her sandals, which had been found on the shore.
Before long, the state police were called in to help solve the disappearance. There weren’t a lot of clues besides the open first aid kit. Had someone feigned injury to catch Molly off-guard? Whatever happened, it started the biggest hunt for a missing person the New England state had ever seen.
While the police began their search for Molly, Magi revealed her own fears about what had happened to her daughter. She said a strange man with a mustache had been lurking around the pond’s parking lot the day before and she suspected the worst.
Magi took her fears to the police, who weren’t surprised. You see, Magi wasn’t the first person to mention this stranger to them. Several other witnesses had reported that the man, who had been driving a white sedan, made them uneasy.
The police were able to put together a sketch of the man with the help of Magi’s mom and other witnesses. They described him as being between 45 and 50 with graying hair. They even offered a $100,000 reward, but no one came forward.
The police began researching local sex offenders and initially thought Oscar Baillargeon might be a suspect. He was a convicted rapist who admitted that he had once met Molly. However, Magi’s mom and the other witnesses could not identify him as the man they had seen.
The police hit a dead end. For three years, there was no activity on the case… that is, until Tim McGuigan got involved. A former cop, Tim had passion for working on missing persons cases in his spare time, and Molly’s story had captivated him.
His investigation turned up something that would change everything. Tim interviewed a local man named Ricky Beaudreau, who mentioned that he had been hunting on Whiskey Hill just five miles from the pond where Molly vanished. While he was there, he had spotted a torn blue bathing suit.
Together, Tim and Ricky returned to Whiskey Hill to see if the bathing suit was still there. They didn’t want to get their hopes up, but they couldn’t help but feel excited when they discovered it was where Ricky had remembered it. They recruited a search party; tragically, one week later, they found a human arm bone.
More bones were discovered, and on June 9, 2003—almost three full years after her disappearance—the police confirmed that the remains were, indeed, Molly’s. Her family was heartbroken, but they were relieved to be able to put Molly to rest. However, they would not stop searching until her killer was found.
As the hunt for Molly’s killer continued, police began to suspect that her abduction and murder were linked to the August 5, 1993 abduction of 10-year-old Holly Piirainen, whose remains were found in the woods just months after she went missing.
In 2009, the police interviewed Florida resident Rodney Stanger, believing he might have been the one who committed these heinous crimes. He owned a white sedan and his appearance was almost identical to the description of the mysterious man given by witnesses so many years before.
Then, in 2011, the police identified another suspect. The man’s name was Gerald Battistoni, and while he was in jail for rape, he had been in the area when Molly was killed. Unfortunately, he died in 2014 without being charged.
The Bish family is still on the hunt for Molly’s killer. Her sister, Heather—now a mother—said, “I don’t know where this person is. Is he watching us? Is he going to come back for my daughter? Is he dangerous? Is he around? And could he do it again?”
Molly’s sister’s haunting words are the kind that stay with you long after you hear about the horrible crime. Hopefully one day soon, the Bish family will get the justice that they deserve, for Molly’s sake.
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