A man was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on charges that he kidnapped a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl and killed her with a boulder in 1986.
Michael Hand, 61, was arrested March 9 on a fugitive from justice charge at his home in Troutman, North Carolina, by state and local police. He is accused of murdering Tracy Gilpin of Kingston, Massachusetts, more than 30 years earlier. He waived rendition and was returned to face the charges in Massachusetts.
Tuesday, more than two months after pleading not guilty to murder in Brockton District Court, the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office announced that a grand jury had indicted Hand on charges of murder, kidnapping and assault with intent to rape a child.
Hand is expected to be arraigned on the indictments at a later date in Plymouth Superior Court, according to Beth Stone, a spokesperson for the DA's office.
Gilpin was reported missing on Oct. 1, 1986, by her family. Her body was found 22 days later in Myles Standish State Forest, and investigators determined she died from a massive skull fracture.
Prosecutors said in March that Hand, a former Kingston resident, made statements to police that put him at the crime scene and admitted to dropping a 73-pound boulder on Gilpin's head. A DNA test will be performed on the rock to determine Hand's connection to the crime.
That month, Gilpin's sister, Massachusetts State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin, thanked investigators for all of their hard work on the case over the past 30 years.
"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," she wrote.