A North Carolina man has been arrested and accused of killing a 15-year-old girl in 1986, Massachusetts State Police announced Sunday.
Tracy Gilpin disappeared in Massachusetts on Oct. 1, 1986, and her body was found in Myles Standish State Forest in Plymouth, Mass., 21 days later, Massachusetts police said. Her skull had been broken.
On Friday, 61-year-old Michael Hand was arrested at his home in Troutman by Massachusetts state troopers and Troutman police, Massachusetts police said. Hand would have been 29 at the time of Gilpin’s death.
Hand has been charged as a fugitive from justice, Massachusetts police said, and he will appear in court in North Carolina on Monday. He is expected to be extradited to Massachusetts, where he’ll be charged with murder, Massachusetts police said.
Gilpin’s sister, Kerry Gilpin, is the leader of the Massachusetts State Police. She has said she decided to work in law enforcement after her sister was killed, according to news reports in Massachusetts.
In a statement posted on the Massachusetts State Police Facebook page Sunday, Kerry Gilpin thanked the investigators involved with her sister’s case.
“For the past three decades, we have remained hopeful that Tracy’s murderer would be identified. The much-welcomed news of an arrest in the case leaves us cautiously optimistic that justice for Tracy is within reach,” she said.