Authorities have released new details into the 2000 murder of 16-year-old Molly Bish.

WARREN, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Authorities have released new details into the 2000 murder of 16-year-old Molly Bish.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said that Francis 'Frank' Sumner Sr. has been named as a person of interest in the case.

According to the D.A.'s office, Sumner, who died in 2016, was active in the central Massachusetts area from 1960 through 2016.  He is being investigated in connection with Bish's murder after investigators received new information in the case.

Molly Bish Frank Sumner Sr

[L] Molly Bish - Western Mass News file photo / [R] Francis 'Frank' Sumner Sr. - Photo provided by Worcester County D.A.'s office

Sumner reportedly lived in Spencer before his death and operated auto repair shops in the Spencer, Leominster, and Worcester areas.

These new developments come about three weeks before the 21st anniversary of Bish's disappearance.  She was working as a lifeguard at Comins Pond in Warren on June 27, 2000 when she disappeared.  A massive search took place and her remains were found three years later in Palmer.

Early told Western Mass News that Sumner was no stranger to authorities.

Frank Sumner other pics 060321

Photos provided by Worcester County D.A.'s office

"He had a 20-page record and he's done lengthy time in prison for aggravated rape, kidnapping, and a series of other crimes,” Early explained.

Investigators are looking for any tips from the public, in particular information about Sumner's employment practices, personnel, associates, vehicles, travel, and any known habits. 

Anyone with information on Sumner or on the Bish case is asked to call (508) 453-7575.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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(1) comment

Searcher

"He had a 20-page record and he's done lengthy time in prison for aggravated rape, kidnapping, and a series of other crimes." I'd have thought with a background like that he'd have been suspect number 1 and a relentless investigation would have ensued and I mean relentless. Apparently that didn't happen, or if it did he had an airtight alibi. If his alibi was so good then, why is it not so good now? A lot of questions here, a lot . . .

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