According to NBC Boston, after 31 years of searching for a suspect in the 1986 murder of 15-year-old Tracy Gilpin, investigators made their first arrest in over three decades. The police arrested 61-year-old Michael Hand on Friday regarding Gilpin's death, according to Massachusetts State Police. Hand was later taken to court where he chose to represent himself. The suspect waived rendition during the hearing and was charged with the murder of Tracy Gilpin. According to Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz, Hand will be arraigned in Massachusetts and charged with murder.

Night of the murder

Tracy disappeared in October 1986 after she went to a friend’s party near her home. At around 10:30 p.m. Tracy and two of her friends left the party and started walking home. The other teens got to their homes and Tracy continued to walk home alone. She stopped at a convenience store and bought some cigarettes, the clerk who claimed to have seen her told the police that Tracy walked outside and made a call at the nearby payphone. According to the police, that was the last time anyone saw Tracy alive.

Her elder sister, Colonel Gilpin, told Dateline in 2017 that her sister made a call to the house where the party was held and asked her friend's mom to come and take her home since she was scared to walk alone.

The woman said she couldn't as people were still in her house. Tracy continued to walk home but never made it. After weeks of searching the police received a call from a woman saying she had stumbled across a dead body. The police came and took the decomposed body for examination. The examination confirmed that the dead body belonged to Tracy.

According to an official report by the state police, the cause of death was a massive blow to the head. The report also said that Tracy never made it through the night. The teenage girl was brutally killed the night she disappeared. After searching for leads for over 30 years, Tracy's case was pushed to the backburner due to budget cuts and current cases.

Michael Hand is set to appear in court in Massachusetts

Colonel Kelly Gilpin who is now the Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police said she never lost hope. She believed that her sister's murderer would be brought to justice. In her statement, Gilpin expressed her sincere gratitude to the investigators and prayed that Tracy would get justice. She added that the police are working hard to bring justice to all victims of murder in the area.