A man has been arrested in connection with a over 30-year-old murder case involving a family member of a state police colonel.
State police said Michael Hand, 61, of Troutman, North Carolina, was arrested by state troopers and police in North Carolina Friday for the October 1986 homicide of 15-year-old Tracy Gilpin of Kingston, Massachusetts.
Authorities said the 15-year-old disappeared on Oct. 1 and was reported missing by family members. Her body was found in Myles Standish Park in Plymouth three weeks later. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death was a massive skull fracture.
Tracy’s sister is Col. Kerry Gilpin, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. Gilpin issued the following statement Sunday saying, “My family and I would like to thank Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz, the Plymouth County State Police Detective Unit, the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab, the Kingston and Plymouth Police Departments, police in North Carolina, and all of the investigators who have worked diligently over the last 31 years to solve Tracy’s murder.”
The statement continued saying, “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.”
State police said authorities have begun the process of bringing Hand back to Massachusetts to be prosecuted for Tracy Gilpin’s murder. He is expected to be arraigned at Plymouth District Court.