NC man arrested in connection 32-year-old cold case murder

NC man arrested in connection 32-year-old cold case murder

Statement of Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry A. GilpinMy 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 15-year-old from Kingston, Massachusetts, was reported missing by her family members after she disappeared on October 1.

Hand's three-bedroom, ranch-style house near downtown Troutman has since 2008 been owned by Brookdale Realty Trust, which lists an address in Kingston, Mass., according to Iredell County public records. A neighbor recalled hearing what sounded like a scream and a vehicle squealing away on the night of Gilpin's disappearance.

Hand was charged as a fugitive from justice based on an arrest warrant issued in Plymouth County charging him with the murder of Tracy Gilpin. She was last seen near her Kingston, MA home after she left a party to buy cigarettes. She then went to a party just a couple streets away from her home. She refused and began walking toward Cumberland Farms when she disappeared. The medical examiner ruled that Tracy died from a massive skull fracture. The host told Gilpin that there were still guests at the party and she was unable to leave.

In a statement Sunday announcing Hand's arrest, Cruz did not disclose what evidence had led investigators to him.

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Once Hand is extradited to MA, he will be charged with the murder of 15-year-old Tracy Gilpin, whose body was found at Myles Standish Park in Plymouth on October 22, 1986.

For more than three decades, the killing of Tracy Gilpin remained unsolved. The much-welcomed news of an arrest in the case leaves us cautiously optimistic that justice for Tracy is within reach.

A North Carolina man has been arrested in connection with the murder of a teenage girl who was found dead in the woods in MA in 1986.

Hand is expected in court in North Carolina on the morning of Monday, March 12 as part of the legal process of transferring him into the care of MA officials.

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