Molly Bish Murder Suspect Family Demands Worcester DA to Provide Evidence; Early quotes information from “last months”
“Frank was not very nice, he was a bad man. I do not defend it. I’m not trying to defend it. I’m not trying to stand up for what he did, and what he did was mean, ”Jackie said of her stepbrother, who was a sex offender sentenced to level 2.“ What m he is interested in DNA. M. Early produce a positive match between Molly Bish and M. Sumner DNA? This is what we are asking for. I think we need this information. “
She added: “Sumner was out of jail and they never pursued him… Please show us once and for all the evidence that this is the man who killed Molly Bish… now he is. the victim because he cannot speak for himself. “
The parent said Sumner’s surviving extended family – a record suggested he had eight children and two grandchildren at the time of his death – now face a gruesome crime allegedly committed by someone with who he had had limited contact during his lifetime.
In a phone interview, Early told The Globe his goal was to find the person responsible for the teenager’s murder and provide surviving members of Molly Bish’s family – who turned their grief into activism and the Molly Bish Foundation – a certain sense of peace that has eluded each of them since 2000.
“The Bish family have been through 20 years of hell,” Early said, sounding frustrated at parent Sumner’s criticism. “I do not wish to involve any family in this matter, but we are handling this investigation as best we can. “
Early said prosecutors and state police filled dozens of boxes with information, advice, reports, studies on Bish’s death and the prosecution of his killer, including a review of a approximately 50 registered sex offenders who were living in or near Warren at the time of the murder.
Sumner’s name is among the names of others, but the arrival of new information in the “last few months” has made him go from a possible candidate to a “person of interest,” he said. .
Early admitted that his office had both Sumner’s DNA and family DNA from parents. But he declined to say what the new evidence is or if it relates to this forensic science that has been used to solve centuries-old murders, as well as to free wrongly convicted men.
“I can tell you that this was not information received two and a half years ago, it was received several months ago,” he said. “This one led to the corroboration and it got us where we are today, and why he’s a person of interest … That’s what got us on top.”
Early said if his office had enough evidence to charge Sumner while he was alive, they would have done so, but they didn’t have the evidence at the time. Now that Sumner is dead, Early has said he recognizes there will be no trial – except for the one the Bish family have endured since Molly went missing on June 27, 2000.
“The thing that gets lost here is the Bish family and we’re not going to let that happen. They are not going to become anonymous, ”he said. “We do what we do and what we publish is very carefully considered and measured before we take action like this.”
Bish’s sister, Heather Bish, said in an interview with The Globe this week that someone contacted family and investigators several years ago with advice on Sumner, which matched the description of a suspicious man whom her mother had seen her in a white sedan near Molly’s rescuer. post the day before the teenager’s disappearance.
“I think there are a lot of important connections with Frank,” she said. She added, “We really hope that the state police detectives and the district attorney will put together the pieces of the puzzle we’ve been waiting for. I think we are very close at the moment.
Her family is experiencing a wave of emotions following Early’s announcement, but “I think what we feel the most is just this gratitude. We have been so lucky that people have provided information over the years, ”she said.
For Heather Bish, who was 23 when her sister disappeared, closing the case will end a all-consuming quest.
“I can’t imagine what my life would be like without hunting a murderer. I’ve spent half my life doing it, ”she said. “I can’t wait to just be a teacher. This is what I was supposed to do.
Sumner was born in 1945 and lived in central Massachusetts from 1960 until his death in 2016, operating auto repair shops in the Leicester, Spencer and Worcester areas, according to prosecutors. Investigators seek advice on Sumner’s habits, work life, associates, vehicles and travel.
On October 20, 1981, Sumner hired a 21-year-old woman to clean an apartment he was trying to rent, then brutally attacked her, court records show. As the woman prepared to leave after cleaning the unit, Sumner blocked her way “and locked three locks on the door,” the records show. He tried to kiss the woman, but she pushed him away.
As they struggled, Sumner said to the woman, “Give it to me and I won’t hurt you.” He later said, “Give it to me or I’ll kill you,” according to court documents.
Sumner began to suffocate the woman, who cried and cried for help as she searched for air.
Sumner then removed the woman’s clothes, pulled her arm into the bedroom and raped her, according to records. Sumner eventually allowed the woman to leave the apartment. She spoke with her boyfriend and mother, then called Worcester Police, according to documents.
Sumner was convicted in 1982 of aggravated rape and kidnapping and sentenced to concurrent terms of 15 to 18 years for rape and nine to 10 years for kidnapping, according to court records.
He was paroled from prison on March 31, 1998 according to the Department of Correction and Massachusetts Parole Board.
In 2010, he was charged with threatening murder, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, reported The Worcester Telegram & Gazette. In this incident, Sumner allegedly threatened a man demonstrating outside Sumner’s auto repair shop because he was not satisfied with the service he received.