MA State Police Still Investigate The Kidnapping And Murder Of Grafton’s Holly Piranien

Seventeen years ago, an unspeakable tragedy happened. It began with the disappearance of a 10-year-old-girl named Holly Piranien. It ended with news of a Sturbridge kidnapping and, apparently, a Brimfield murder. Holly had gone out to play with kittens while her family was on vacation. Her skeletal remains were found months later approximately 5 miles away from where she disappeared.

The Grafton family waited with hope as the criminal investigation began. First step was to find Holly. After they found what remained of the young girl, the search continued so as to find her killer.

The case was never solved.

Family, friends and law enforcement have not forgotten Holly, however. In fact, a billboard along Interstate 93 in Medford stands, asking for any clues that might be available at this late date.

“Justice needs to be served so this criminal does not strike again,” Carla Piranien Bourassa, Holly’s aunt said in a statement.

Colonel Mirian J. McGovern, head of the State Police has vowed that her department will never cease in their efforts to bring Holly’s killer to justice.

As the family and friends continue to wait for Justice, the State Police are urging anyone with any information about the crimes to contact detectives at 413-747-4810.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Massachusetts Cold Cases Of Murder

The crime of murder carries no statute of limitations. This means that it does not matter when the crime is solved. If the suspect is still breathing, he or she will be prosecuted.

Often, when law enforcement requests help from the general populace, people who may know something are conflicted about contacting the authorities. Self-defensive questions abound.

“I don’t want to get mixed up in this. Won’t I just be putting my own life in danger?”
While this is often a real concern, in a case like this, it probably isn’t. First of all, it is possible to give information to law enforcement without ever identifying yourself. If you do identify yourself, however, your identity can often be kept in confidence, at least until there is an actual prosecution.

Further, this does not seem to be a gang-related crime where there is likely to be retribution by associates of the suspect. Generally, even most criminals are not overly found of kiddie killers. As for the suspect, he or she will likely be held without bail.

“I may know one or two very small details. Things I think I saw, but am not really sure. Why should I waste anybody’s time?”

The thing with not knowing anything about the investigation is that you do not know what you know or don’t know. I have seen many cases wherein simply seeing one small detail which seems to be totally innocuous, makes a big difference in the investigation or prosecution. Let the investigators decide if your information is worth following up on. That’s what they do for a living.

“What if I give the police information and they decide that I had something to do with it?”

Unfortunately, that can often be a possibility. If you think it even a small possibility in this instance, the right thing to do is probably not to simply be silent. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice. There are many ways to safeguard against this happening. In fact, it may even be possible to get the information to the authorities without their even discovering your name.

I often write about it being important for people to understand the reality of the criminal justice system. That is because, after all, it is our criminal justice system. If it is to change or get better, then it is up to us to get involved and push for the changes.

That often includes playing our part as jurors or witnesses should the occasion arise. And so, I join with law enforcement and those who had the pleasure of knowing and loving Holly Piranien.

If you could possibly know anything that might be of help to the investigation, please call the number reflected above.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, if you have a criminal justice issue and would like to discuss it with me, please feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation by calling me at 617-492-3000.

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