‘Hope for Holly': Family of 10-Year-Old Whose Murder Case Has Gone Cold Creates New Tip Campaign

What to Know

  • 10-year-old Holly Piirainen went missing on Aug. 5, 1993 in Sturbridge. Her body was found on Oct. 23, 1993 in Brimfield.
  • Investigators say they have several persons of interest, but still need more witnesses to come forward
  • A cold case consultant says there may be behavioral patterns that may make it easier to pinpoint a suspect in Holly's murder

Authorities in Massachusetts are renewing calls for the public's help in solving the cold case murder of a 10-year-old girl nearly a quarter century after her body was found.

On Friday, police and members of Holly Piirainen's family gathered in Brimfield to announce a new tip campaign called "Hope for Holly" and discuss ongoing progress in the case.

"We've never given up hope," said Carla Jackman, Holly's aunt. "She's on our minds every day."

Witnesses have recently come forward identifying persons of interest, and investigators are revisiting potential suspects that popped up in the first 30 days of Holly's case.

"We're very encouraged by recent developments in the investigation," said Dr. Sarah Stein, a cold case consultant who is working with Holly's family.

She said there may be some behavioral patterns that may make it easier to pinpoint a suspect in Holly's murder.

"We're going on 25 years that this is unsolved, and we know that the police have worked very hard over the years to solve this case," said Karen Jolin, another of Holly's aunts. "There are just some missing pieces that we need from the community, and we're asking for your help."

Stein said those missing pieces include witnesses coming forward with the ability to place unnamed persons of interest in the area at the time when Holly disappeared.

Holly, who lived in Grafton, was visiting her grandparents in Sturbridge with her brother when she was murdered in August of 1993. Her body was found in nearby Brimfield on Oct. 23, 1993.

"It's definitely going to get solved. It's just a matter of time," said Holly's grandmother, Maureen Lemieux. "We have material that was recovered from the scene, we have DNA from certain people. We have a lot of evidence - we just need that final push."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 203-507-6352 or email

"You may know something - just a small piece of information that will connect everything for them," Jolin said.

The district attorney's office did not return calls or emails Friday seeking comment on the case.

There is still a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people involved.

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