A man who was linked to the Molly Bish case by a private investigator died earlier this week while serving a sentence for raping a teenager in the 1990s.

Private investigator Daniel Malley confirmed to CBS 3 that Gerald Battistoni, 52, died at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain on Tuesday while serving a 10 to 12 year jail sentence.

Malley said Battistoni's death could possibly shed new light on the investigation of the murders of Molly Bish and Holly Piirainen.

In 2011, Malley, a former Vermont state trooper, informed investigators after finding Battistoni had sexually assaulted the daughter of a woman he had been dating in the 1990s. Battistoni was convicted of four counts of sexual assault and abuse of a child in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield back in 2011 and was sentenced to jail.

Malley found that Battistoni might be linked to the area in Sturbridge where Holly Piirainen was last seen before her 1993 disappearance.

Malley said Battistoni's death may now open a new door in the investigation into the Molly Bish case.

Copyright 2014 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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