BROCKTON, Mass. (FOX 46 WJZY) - A North Carolina man accused of killing of a Massachusetts teen in 1986 has been officially charged with her murder.
Michael Hand, 61, of Troutman, NC was arraigned in Brockton District Court Wednesday and charged with the murder of 15-year-old Tracy Gilpin. Hand pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
In a press release sent out by Massachusetts officials, investigators wrote the suspect, "made statements to investigators that could be construed as admissions to the crime." Including, "he told police that he picked up a 73-pound boulder and dropped it on Gilpen."
On October 2, 1986, Tracy Gilpin of Kingston, was reported missing by family members. Her body was found in Myles Standish State Park in Plymouth on October 22, 1986. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that Gilpin’s cause of death was a massive skull fracture and the manner of her death was ruled to be a homicide.
Hand was arrested last week by North Carolina and Massachusetts investigators and extradited to the Bay State Monday.
According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, Hand told police he held a gathering at his home the evening that Gilpin was last seen and told them that he knew Gilpin from the Kingston neighborhood. Hand made statements to police that put him at the crime scene in Myles Standish State Park in Plymouth, and Hand told police that he picked up a 73-pound boulder and dropped it on Gilpin. Hand identified the rock to investigators in evidence photos.
Neighbors tell FOX 46 that Hand requested someone look after his home and his dog, a hint they say that he may never be returning to it. They also stated he kept a low profile.
"It makes you wonder who you live near," said one neighbor.