By Beth Germano

GRAFTON (CBS) – Twenty-five is not just a number for the grandmother of Holly Piirainen, but a reminder of the passage of time with no answers about her mysterious murder.

“It’s hard to realize it’s been 25 years, seems like last year,” Maureen Lemieux tells WBZ-TV.

She says to have someone finally brought to justice would be a relief for the family.

“It would relieve us of the burden of doubt, even though nothing is going to bring her back,” she said.

To her family, Holly is still 10 years old, the little girl who went missing Aug. 5, 1993, near her grandmother’s summer home in Sturbridge when she went up the street to look at a neighbor’s puppies.

Only her sneaker was found in the area. Hundreds of volunteers combed the woods but turned up no leads.

Maureen Lemieux remembers asking to search neighbors’ homes and car trunks.

“We were suspicious of everybody. Some people were cooperative and some weren’t. If they weren’t we would give their names to police and nothing came of it,” she said.

Hunters located Holly’s remains two months later, on Oct. 23, 1993, seven miles away in Brimfield.

“It wasn’t the way we wanted to recover her, but at least we know where she is,” Lemieux said.

The family says the remote spot would be known only by locals, and while persons of interest have been identified over the years there’s been nothing conclusive.

“Somebody who actually knows something has to come forward, and there has to be somebody,” Lemieux said.

It’s why the family in October will hold a “tip” day, hoping they will finally generate some leads.

“I’m 25 years older than I was. I’d like to see it solved in my lifetime,” Lemieux said.

Beth Germano

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