Massachusetts girl, Holly Piirainen, 10, was killed almost 30 years ago and her case remains unsolved. In a renewed push to spotlight Holly’s case, local authorities featured Holly on a set of playing cards, along with other homicide victims and missing children.


Holly Piirainen and her family were visiting relatives in Sturbridge when she vanished on August 5, 1993. The girl and her brother, 8-year-old Andrew, went to visit a neighbor and look at puppies. Her brother returned home alone. Holly’s father called the police and reported his daughter missing.



Holly Piirainen/Murder Case/MassLive


Richard Piirainen and relatives took off to search for little Holly. They were vacationing in a cabin in a wooded area. Soon, local and state enforcement joined the search, but Holly wasn’t found, only one of her shoes.


Several months later, the body of a young child was discovered a few miles from Sturbridge. Hunters found her and alert the police.


In 2012, law enforcement tested new forensic evidence linking a possible suspect to Holly. A local man, David Pouliot, was named a suspect, but no arrests were ever made in the cold case because Pouliot died in 2003.


David Pouliot


According to Pouliot’s obituary, he lived with his mother and worked for the State Juvenile center. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing. Pouliot’s name has been linked to another possible murder of a young girl, Molly Bish, who vanished not far from where Holly’s remains were found. Both cases remained unsolved.


Today, Holly’s case remains open. State officials are soliciting the public’s help. They ask anyone with information about Holly to call 413-505-5993.


Watch Holly’s Grandmother Speak About Holly’s Murder

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By Jolene Grace

Jolene Grace was a journalist for ten years, interning for CBS evening news, working as a beat report for Oklahoma Public radio, and eventually transitioning into managing digital content for a radio corporation. Currently, she writes crime fiction full time and blogs for the Crime Room. Jolene is fortunate enough to be able to tell the stories of those who no longer can. She’s passionate to write about cold cases being solved. You can read her blogs on or listen to The Crime Room Podcast wherever in the world you happened to be. Let’s Talk Crime.

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