WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday brought by a former police officer who said he deserved a $100,000 reward for leading investigators to a key piece of evidence in the unsolved 2000 disappearance of 16-year-old lifeguard Molly Bish.

Timothy McGuigan’s suit was dismissed before it went to the jury. Worcester Superior Court Judge David Ricciardone granted a motion by the defense for a directed verdict, saying that as a matter of law a jury had no choice but to rule for the defense.

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McGuigan, a former officer in North Brookfield and Sturbridge, sued the Worcester district attorney’s office after he was denied the reward. He said he deserved it for leading police in 2003 to the remnants of a bathing suit in the woods of Palmer owned by Molly, who disappeared from her lifeguard post at Comins Pond in Warren in June 2000. The suit’s discovery eventually led to her remains.

McGuigan learned of the bathing suit from a hunter who saw it.

McGuigan’s lawyer said some posters indicated that the reward would be paid “for information leading to Molly.”

Current District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., and his predecessor John Conte, who was in the post when Molly disappeared, both testified that those posters were put up by an independent foundation, and law enforcement made clear that the reward was only for information that led to an arrest and conviction. No one has ever been charged with Molly’s disappearance or death.

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“I’m glad this case is over so we can get back to focusing on solving the Molly Bish case — which should be the focus,” Early said.

McGuigan testified that the lawsuit was not about the money, but about solving the case.

“No one can take away what he did,” said McGuigan’s attorney, Leonidas Chakalos. “What he did was a good thing.”

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