Hampden District Attorney releases evidence in Holly Piirainen homicide investigation; calls on the public for help

February  1, 2023 -Springfield-  Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni is asking members of the media and the public at-large for assistance in the homicide investigation of Holly Piirainen who was ten years old at the time of her abduction and murder in 1993.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni stated, “Just a couple weeks ago, on January 19, 2023,  Holly Piirainen would have celebrated her 40th birthday. For the past thirty years, the Piirainen family has been coping with this unimaginable tragedy. In this endeavor to seek justice for Holly, we work as many hours as we can devote, we spare no expense, we deploy only the best investigators, and we employ the latest technologies; however, in many instances, we cannot do it alone. We need the public’s assistance; we need someone, who knows something, to stand up with us and do what’s right. we are issuing a clarion call to the public, and together as a community, to finally bring justice for Holly and her family.”  

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On August 5, 1993, Holly had been vacationing with her father and other family members at a cottage in Sturbridge. She was last seen by her father at 11:45 a.m., heading toward a residence around Allen and South Shore Roads in Sturbridge to play with puppies she knew were at a home. 

About one hour later, Holly was reported missing by her father, after she did not return.

Her father immediately began searching for her, finding only her sneaker on South Shore Road. Police were notified and a massive search began by local and state police, sheriff’s departments, and law enforcement contingents from Connecticut and Rhode Island. The search stretched on for days and weeks, continuing with no results. 

Sadly, on October 23, 1993, Holly’s remains were found by hunters in a wooded area off Five Bridge Road in Brimfield.

The crime scene was photographed and processed by personnel from the Massachusetts State Police, including its Crime Scene Services Section and Crime Laboratory, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Items discovered at or near the location of Holly’s remains were documented, seized, and have been maintained by the Massachusetts State Police since that time.

Throughout the subsequent investigation into Holly’s disappearance and death, evidence has been reviewed, identified for forensic analysis, and subjected to various testing procedures.

As a part of the Hampden District Attorney’s office’s ongoing efforts to solve outstanding homicide cases, Holly’s case has remained in focus and has been continually reviewed to determine if the application of further forensic and scientific examination would be beneficial.

Case items documented in 1993 were identified within the past six months for further forensic testing to expand on previous testing. Regarding one item, a white tank top, the assistance of the public is being sought.

This is a white tank top-style shirt, with a blue, purple, and pink colored “Boston” motif noted on the exterior front. The shirt has no tags or size information.  

Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance for any information about this shirt. We are interested in determining who owned the shirt, its origin or places where it was known to be sold, anything about its manufacture, and any information regarding its association with the area of where Holly was found in the Five Bridge Road area of Brimfield.

Anyone with information that is specifically related to the “Boston tank top” or any information at all that is related to Holly’s murder, we ask that you contact Holly’s Tip-Line: 413-426-3507. You can also use Text-a-Tip, by texting the word CRIMES (2-7-4-6-3-7) and type the word SOLVE into the body of the message followed by your tip.


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