A teenage lifeguard is abducted and her mother may have seen the suspect.
For the Bish family, the perfect getaway from the urban violence of their old Detroit neighborhood was Warren, Massachusetts, population 4,800. Molly Bish was only a year old when her family moved here. Fifteen years later, she landed her first real job as a lifeguard at a nearby pond. Magi Bish is Molly’s mother:
On June 27, 2000, Molly’s seventh day on the job, her mother Magi drove her to work.
Magi rushed to the pond. She found her daughter’s sandals, chair, and lunch sitting on the beach, but no Molly. Molly’s father, John Bish Sr.:
According to Chief Ronald J. Syriac of the Warren Police Department, no clues were left behind:
Magi was convinced her daughter had been abducted and suddenly realized she might have seen the man responsible at the pond the day before Molly disappeared:
Maggie escorted Molly all the way down to the beach and expected the stranger in the late model white car to be gone when she got back:
Fearing for her daughter’s safety, Maggie waited for the man to leave. The following day, Magi once again went with her daughter to the swimming hole. This time the man was nowhere to be seen. Instead, there was a truck unloading sand for the beach.
But Magi never saw Molly again. The police investigation focused on the man in the white car. The sand truck driver had seen a similar car in the parking lot just moments before Molly and Magi arrived. On the other side of the pond is a cemetery. A worker there also saw a white car later the same morning. A path leads from the graveyard to the swimming hole. Molly’s father suspects this is where his daughter was abducted:
A composite sketch based on Magi’s description produced no solid leads. Desperate for information, Magi took action:
More than 35,000 people were e-mailed pictures of Molly. A web site devoted to finding her received thousands of hits. But a year passed without a single solid lead.
Magi contacted a sketch artist, Jeanne Boylan, who had worked on the Unabomber and Polly Klaas cases. Jeanne agreed to try to create a more accurate drawing of the man in the white car. For nine hours, the two women chatted as Jeanne carefully sketched a portrait. Finally, the drawing was complete. But Magi still felt something was missing, and Jeanne worked hard to render it:
The drawing unnerved Magi Bish:
Three years after Molly Bish disappeared, her remains were found about five miles from Warren Pond. The case remains open and active. There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever took the life of Molly Bish.
As of 2021, a person of interest has been named. Francis “Frank” P. Sumner Sr., a man who was previously convicted of sexual assault and kidnapping, was active in the area at the time of Molly’s disappearance and death. He is now deceased, but police are working to solidify his connection to the case.