SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Bishop William D. Byrne has issued a statement in response to the May 24 closure of the investigation into the murder of Danny Croteau, a student at the former Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Elementary School in Springfield, whose body was found in the Connecticut River in Chicopee on April 15, 1972.
Speaking at noontime press conference, Hampden Country District Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced that the state police detectives assigned to his office were authorized to obtain an arrest warrant for former priest and alleged child sexual abuser Richard Lavigne on May 21. However, Lavigne, the only suspect identified in the case, died that evening in a hospital facility in Greenfield.
Bishop Byrne expressed his sorrow and offered an apology to the Croteau family. He also urged any victims of clergy sexual abuse to contact the diocese’s abuse reporting phone line. The bishop’s statement follows in its entirety here: