Hampden County DA investigator in Florida on Piirainen case - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM


Hampden County DA investigator in Florida on Piirainen case

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Massachusetts State Police are in Florida investigating new leads in the case of Molly Bish, the Warren teen who was taken from her lifeguard post 12 years ago. CBS 3 has learned they're also joined by Hampden County investigator looking into new leads in the Holly Piirainen case.

"I can tell you that both the DA's office in Hampden and Worcester share strategic information on cases," said Bish private investigator and long-time police officer, Tom Shamshak.

Shamshak says Worcester County investigators looking into Bish's disappearance are not alone in Florida. He said the Hampden County District Attorney, Mark Mastroianni, sent an investigator from his office down to investigate.

"He's there, he's the lead investigator on the Holly Piirainen case," Shamshak said.

The murder mysteries of Holly and Molly have been compared in the past.

In 1993, 10-year-old Holly Piirainen went for a walk near her grandparents' house in Sturbridge. She never returned. Two months later her remains were found in the woods of Brimfield.

Seven years later, 16-year-old lifeguard Molly Bish was abducted from her lifeguard post at Comins Pond in Warren. Three years later her body was found in a wooded area in Palmer.

No one has ever been arrested in either case.

"The terminal circumstances, where their remains were found were eerily similar," Shamshak said.

But authorities in both cases appear to be interested in one man: Rodney Stanger. Massachusetts State Police looking into the Bish murder interviewed him Thursday from his Florida jail cell, coincidentally on what would have been her 29th birthday.

Stanger is convicted of killing his girlfriend in 2008.

Shamshak has kept a close eye on investigations into both Bish and Piirainen's murder. He's interviewed Rodney Stanger in the past and sees why police in both cases want to look into him again.

"The only one that has emerged who abruptly left the state, who has murdered somebody is Rodney Stanger... I had concluded that first I was dealing with a sociopath, and secondly this is an individual who had repeatedly lied to me," Shamshak said.

State police interviewed Stanger four years ago as a person of interest. But Shamshak said time, and new lead, like documental evidence that Stanger fled Massachusetts in the months following Molly's disappearance and the discovery of two safety deposit box keys that lead to a Dunnellon, FL bank of America, may be on the side of state police investigators.

"This case is white hot. And hopefully people will come forward with information... they (state police) are now much more empowered with documentary evidence and have a better timeline on why did Stanger flee?" Shamshak said.

CBS 3 learned Wednesday night that there was $10,000 in a safety deposit box in Stanger's name an hour away from his home.

Shamshak said in his law-enforcement experience that is money that one would use should law enforcement ever have descended on his home.

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