- New evidence has surfaced in the 1993 killing of 10-year-old Holly Piirainen
- The evidence links a dead man to the case through forensic testing
- The man is not considered a suspect
- Piirainen disappeared from a home in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in 1993.
A "very significant lead" has surfaced in the 1993 killing of 10-year-old Holly Piirainen, linking a dead man to the case through forensic testing, authorities said Tuesday.
The man is linked to a piece of evidence found in the vicinity of the area where Piirainen's skeletal remains were uncovered nearly two decades ago, said Hampden County District Attorney Mark G. Mastrioanni.
Considered an avid outdoorsman before he died in 2003, the man is not being named by CNN because authorities say he is not considered a suspect in the killing.
Prosecutors say the man had frequented a wooded area in Brimfield, Massachusetts where Piirainen's body was found three months after she was reported missing.
Authorities did not reveal what the piece of evidence was.
A $15,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest or conclusion of the investigation.
Holly's grandmother, Maureen Lemieux, told reporters Tuesday that she was "cautiously optimistic" the new evidence would bring the case to a close. But, she noted, four or five other people previously had been named by authorities as linked to the case.
Piirainen disappeared from a home in the neighboring town of Sturbridge in 1993.
Her body was later recovered about five miles away from the house.