The late Derek Murray of Sullivan was a person of intest in the case of the Churchville-Chili grad, who went missing nine years ago

ROCHESTER — Investigators said they believe a Chili man who had been missing for nine years is dead and now his suspected killer also has died.

Investigators believe family members or associates of Derek Murray, who died of natural causes earlier this month, may know what happened to Brian Sullivan, a Churchville-Chili High School graduate who was 19 when he disappeared in July 2007.

Sullivan was last seen buying food at a Burger King in Gates. His car was later found abandoned a short distance away on Lettington Avenue.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said in July that a local person of interest in the case could shed light on what happened to Sullivan. Their hope was that Murray, who is described as an acquaintance of Sullivan's, would confess, or someone else who knew him or had been involved would come forward with information that would lead them to Sullivan's remains and help to bring peace to his family.

Barb Sullivan, Brian Sullivan's mother, said she is very sorry for the Murrays and their loss.

"It's a very difficult thing they're going through," Mrs. Sullivan said Friday.

Murray's confession did not happen, but Monroe County Undersheriff Drew Forsythe wants people who knew Murray or who may have heard him talk about Sullivan to come forward.

There are people out there that "100 percent absolutely" know where Sullivan is, Forsythe said.

“A few days ago, the Murray family was able to properly bury their son,” Forsyth said. “The Sullivans deserve the same. All we’re looking for at this point is to give this family, this honorable family, the closure that they’ve been looking for for nine years.”

Mrs. Sullivan said no one can be punished for the harm caused to her son. But someone may be able to bring the family peace.

"We just need to bring Brian home," she said. "That's all we're asking."