GRAFTON (CBS) – A Grafton family haunted by tragedy is dealing with a new crisis. A roadside bomb badly injured their son while serving in Afghanistan.

Staff Sergeant Andrew Piirainen is recovering, but his family has yet to heal from the unsolved murder of his sister Holly nearly 20 years ago.

Piirainen is already well enough to use the satellite phone which is great news, since just a day ago, he was severely injured when an IED exploded right next to him.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

His grandmother, Maureen Lemieux spoke with him. “He told me he had shrapnel on his face, on the front of his body, on his stomach and around his eye.”

Danger is par for the course given the Grafton native’s job in Afghanistan. He’s the guy who is called in to remove or detonate explosives before anyone else gets hurt.

His dad Rick says, “It’s probably one of the most dangerous jobs you could have there, besides being in one of the most dangerous places in the world.

The 26-year-old has already served three tours in Iraq and he’s been in Afghanistan since July.

His family thinks once he’s done recuperating, he’ll want to head back to work.

Lemieux says,“He was always a kid that liked paintball, fireworks, potato guns, blowing things up.”

Piirainen’s childhood is full of difficult memories, too. His sister Holly went missing in Sturbridge in 1993. Her body was found weeks later.

Her killer, or killers are still out there.

Not too long before Andy’s incident, the family had just met with the Hampden DA, hoping to keep the case going.

“It’s not a cold case, it’s still an active case, there’s people on it,” says Rick Piirainen.


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