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Molly Bish cold case murder probe eyeing convicted Fla. killer

Molly Bish
MollyBish.org

(CBS/AP) DOUGLAS, Mass. - Massachusetts authorities investigating the unsolved disappearance and death of  teenager Molly Bish 12 years ago say they plan to examine items found in the Florida home of a convicted killer who once lived near the girl who vanished from her lifeguard post.

Pictures: New clues in missing Mass. teen lifeguard's case

The items were discovered in the Summerfield, Fla., trailer where Rodney Stanger once lived with his longtime girlfriend, Chrystal Morrison. Stanger pleaded guilty in 2010 to fatally stabbing Morrison in 2008 and is serving a 25-year prison sentence.

Morrison's sister, Bonnie Kiernan, found the items when she went to Florida to collect her sister's belongings. 

"There were an awful lot of hair-ties, scrunchies, and barrettes that wouldn't fit my sister's age," Kiernan told CBS Boston. "At 50-years-old you're not going to be wearing a 12-year-old's barrette." [editor's note: Bish was 16]

Kiernan also found a wallet with a firearms ID card renewed just before the Bish murder, CBS Boston reports. It features a Stanger photo with a striking resemblance to the sketch of a mystery man who was seen near where Bish was abducted at Comins Pond in Warren in June 2000.

 Molly's remains were found three years later in the neighboring town of Palmer. The sketch was based on a description from Molly's mother, Magi Bish.

"We follow up on every lead," said Paul Jarvey, a spokesman for the district attorney. He did not offer any sort of timeline for when police would look at the items found by Kiernan.

Massachusetts State Police have traveled to Florida at least once and Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. has confirmed that Stanger is one of several men being investigated by his office.

Stanger lived in nearby Southbridge before moving to Florida shortly after Molly's disappearance and his birth certificate indicates he was born in Warren. Neighbors say he was familiar with woods around the small central Massachusetts town.

The news was welcomed by Molly's family. "I'm hopeful the state police will follow up with this," said Heather Bish, Molly's sister. "We appreciate the people that come forward because it gives us a reason to push the investigation."

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