The 1993 Unsolved Murder Of Holly Piirainen

On Aug. 5, 1993, Holly Piirainen, 10, and her brother went to a neighbor's house to play with puppies. Her brother returned home but she never did.

Holly Piirainen was found murdered on Oct. 23, 1993. Her murder remains unsolved.

On Aug. 5, 1993, Holly Piirainen, 10, and her brother went to her grandparents’ neighbor’s home to play with puppies. Her brother returned home but she never did.

Photo by: Hampden District Attorney

Hampden District Attorney

Holly Kristen Piirainen was only ten years old when she was murdered on Aug. 5, 1993. She and her brother were visiting their grandparents at a lakefront cottage in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. After going to see puppies at a neighbor’s house, her brother returned yet she did not.

Holly’s father reported her missing to the police that day. For over two months, the only clue investigators had was one of Holly’s shoes that was found on the side of the road. On Oct. 23, 1993, hunters found the body of the child in a forest that was only a few miles from where she was last seen, reported MassLive.

The case has never been solved. Forensic testing of evidence found in the vicinity of where Holly’s remains were located established a link to a man named David Pouliot, who died in 2003. Pouliot had been named as a person of interest in Piirainen’s case but was never charged.

In October 2020, the body of a different man was exhumed in the hopes of finding evidence. Investigators were looking for an item that was allegedly placed in his coffin but were unable to get sufficient evidence due to water damage since it had been 20 years since the burial.

Nearly three decades after the brutal murder, Holly’s family continues to plea for justice. Nobody involved has given up on resolving the case. There’s a Justice for Holly Piirainen Facebook page to help find justice for the little girl. Detectives also run a website called Help Holly, which is dedicated to helping find justice for Piirainen. Piirainen’s case was featured on a deck of homicide playing cards that was created by Massachusetts State Police to help raise awareness of unsolved cases, WWLP reported.

If you have information that might be helpful in solving the case, you can call 413-426-3507 to reach Trooper Tom Sullivan, the Hampden County District Attorney’s homicide investigator who is assigned to the Holly Piirainen case. You can also contact him via a form on the Help Holly website. To share information by mail, send it to: P.O. Box 15327, Springfield, MA 01115-5327.

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