Arrest made in the 1986 murder of Kingston teen

KINGSTON, Mass. — An arrest has been made 31 years since a Kingston teenager was found dead.

Tracy 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.

The clerk who was working at the store told Boston 25 News they remember two things; Tracy talking to someone in a Jeep outside in the parking lot and Tracy using a payphone.

At about 11 p.m., the clerk asked Tracy if she needed a ride home, but she declined.

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.

"She had significant brain trauma, she died of a massive blow to her head," said Timothy Cruz, the Plymouth County DA.

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 brought to Massachusetts to face charges.

Tracy is the sister of Mass State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin. The family has been hoping for years for an arrest 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.