Springfield, MA—In April 1972, Danny Croteau’s body was discovered floating in Chicopee River faced down. Nearly 50 years later, the cold case has reopened.
Upon discovering his body, the autopsy concluded Croteau, 13, died from fractures to the skull and lacerations of the brain. Since Croteau’s death, only one individual has remained under suspicion, Richard Lavigne. Despite the skepticism, Lavigne was not publicly named until the 1990s.
Richard Lavigne, a Catholic priest, and convicted child molester served as an assistant pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Church. During the time he assisted, Croteau was an altar boy.
Since Croteau’s death in 1972, allegations accused the church of shielding Lavigne of child abuse. According to Newsweek, “In 1992, Lavigne was convicted of molesting two altar boys and served 10 years of probation.”
Lavigne died earlier this May; he was 80. At the moment, his death is under investigation. District Attorney Anthony Gulluni has an upcoming conference on Monday providing an update on Croteau’s murder.