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Bish parents speak of impact of arrest

They await word on Conn. probe

WEST HAVEN, Conn. -- The arrest last month of a Waterbury man on an attempted kidnapping charge has put on edge the parents of a Warren, Mass., teenager who vanished five years ago.

John Regan, 49, attracted attention in the case of Molly Bish and other unsolved crimes after he was arrested Oct. 31 on a charge of attempted kidnapping in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he is accused of trying to force a youngster into his work van.

''His arrest was a heart-stopping thing for us," said John Bish, who spoke about child safety at the University of New Haven Saturday with his wife, Magdalen.

Their 16-year-old daughter vanished from her lifeguard post at a pond near her home in Warren on June 27, 2000. Police recovered her remains nearly three years later.

''She came home bone by bone," Magdalen Bish said. ''First her shin bone, then her skull. . . . In the end, 26 of Molly's bones came home to us."

Investigators said they will review Regan's work records to see whether the roofing and siding salesman was in Western Massachusetts the day Bish disappeared. He traveled annually to conferences in Sturbridge, Mass., not far from the pond where Bish was last seen, investigators say.

Regan has not been charged in the Bish case. His lawyer, E. Stewart Jones, said investigators are overreacting and will turn up nothing.

Since their daughter's death, the Bishes have established the Molly Bish Foundation to promote safety and raise awareness of missing children.

Their visit to the University of New Haven was organized by a student group that helps victims of crime.

The foundation provided the audience with child safety identification kits that include up-to-date photos, a child's fingerprints, information about height, weight, age, and a description of identifying marks.

The Bishes said they did not have an adequate identification kit of their daughter, instead providing police with blurry and outdated photos that did not help in the search.

''We learned painfully the importance of an identification kit," John Bish said.

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