North Carolina man arrested in 1986 murder of Massachusetts teen, officials say

Michael Hand. (Photo: Boston25News.com)

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Michael Hand. (Photo: Boston25News.com)

An arrest has been made 31 years after a Kingston teenager was found murdered.

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Tracey Gilpin was 15 when she left a party in the Rocky Nook section of Kingston to buy cigarettes on Oct. 1, 1986. She was headed to a nearby Cumberland Farms convenience store.

Tracy didn't come back. Several weeks later, a woman walking her dog in Plymouth spotted a body. It was Tracy. The DA said it was a brutal death.

On Sunday, law enforcement sources told Boston 25 News Michael Hand, 61, has been arrested in North Carolina for Tracy's homicide, and he will eventually be extradited to Massachusetts to face charges.

Tracy is the sister of Massachusetts State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin. The family has been hoping for an arrest for years and offered a reward for information that helped solve the murder.

Kerry Gilpin released a statement shortly after the announcement of the arrest, thanking all who helped solve murder, including information from the public.

"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. My thoughts today are not just with my own family, but also with all the families who have lost loved ones to violence. We will continue to work tirelessly to find justice for all murder victims," she said.

This is a developing story. Check with Boston25News.com and WSOCTV.com for updates. 

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