Longtime friend of potential Bish suspect says he moved because cops were after him

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BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) A friend of Rodney Stanger, a potential suspect in the murder of Molly Bish, claims that Stanger told him he was moving to Florida to run away from police.

FOX 25's Bob Ward talked with Michael Philbrook on Tuesday night. Philbrook is a long time friend of Stanger who helped him move to Florida in November 2000.

Prior to 2000, Stanger was living in Southbridge with his girlfriend Chrystal Morrison in a home that was long paid off.

Stanger moved to Summerfield, FL in the months following Molly Bish's murder and the release of a sketch that closely resembles Stanger.

Philbrook asked Stanger back in 2000 why he was moving to Florida. Stanger told him that the cops were after him and that they wouldn't leave him alone.

Tom Shamsak, the Bish family's private investigator, says that in the summer of 2000, Stanger had no open warrants, court cases, or reasons to run.

Rodney Stanger did not have a criminal history. He had also just received a firearms identification card from his local police department.

Mike Philbrook didn't think that his friend was in any serious trouble at the time. However, looking back at how quickly Stanger moved to Florida, he now wonders if Stanger was running away from the Bish investigation back in the summer of 2000.

"I think he's just about capable of doing something like that," says Philbrook, "I wasn't going to say anything, but as I look back, yeah, he's not like your ordinary man. You don't understand. He has no feelings, no emotions, you know?"

Philbrook has known Stanger his entire life.