SUMMERFIELD, Fla. (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - The investigation into the murder of Molly Bish has brought Massachusetts State Police detectives to Florida.
Investigators are searching the trailer where potential prime suspect Rodney Stanger lived, and they are looking to see if they can find anything that would link Stanger to Bish's murder.
The trailer itself sits dilapidated in a lot of overgrown trees and brush, but Massachusetts State Police detectives found it important enough to travel more than 1,000 miles. They hope to find clues that might help solve the June 2000 murder of Bish.
A state trooper investigating the 1993 murder of Holly Piirainen in Sturbridge, Mass., joined the crew in Florida.
"I don't know what changed for them. I am not privy to their information. But they had a lead or something happen in Massachusetts, they were able to come here. They asked me to prepare a search warrant for a safe deposit box in Dunellon, and a search warrant for this house," Det. Rhonda Stroup of Marion County told FOX 25's Bob Ward.
Stanger, a former Southbridge resident, abruptly moved to the trailer in Summerfield, Fla., in the weeks after Bish was abducted from Comins Pond in Warren, Mass.
Stanger strongly resembles the sketch of a man in the Bish case.
In Florida, Jim Kaufman, Stanger's neighbor, remembers having to call the cops on the suspect.
"I called 'em because I heard a shotgun go off ... boom, boom, boom. High-powered, eight times. I said 'there's trouble, you better get here,'" Kaufman said.
Stanger himself is serving a 25-year sentence for murdering his girlfriend, Chrystal Morrison, inside the trailer in Florida.
In June, Morrison's sister retrieved items from the trailer, including Stanger's wallet and keys to a secret safe deposit box.
The keys found in Stanger's trailer go to a safe deposit box at a Bank of America branch in Dunellon, Fla.
Bank officials told FOX 25 that Massachusetts State Police detectives, acting on a search warrant, went to the branch and opened Stanger's safe deposit box on Monday. However, the contents of the box are unknown.
Back at the trailer in Summerfield, Massachusetts State Police removed evidence, but their work is not done. They intend to re-interview Stanger in prison.
The investigation into the murder of Molly Bish is now 12 years old. The hope is that after all these years, Stanger's home might give up the clue to bring the Bish family justice.