BOSTON (CBS) — An arrest has been made in the unsolved murder of Tracy Gilpin, the sister of Massachusett’s State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin.

When Gilpin was appointed to head the MSP, the reason behind her career choices rose again: Gilpin wanted to go into law enforcement after Tracy was killed.

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The Kingston teen went missing on October 1, 1986, she was found dead 21 days later. She was 15-years-old.

Tracy Gilpin. (Image Credit: Gilpin Family)

Mass. State Police said Michael Hand, 61, of Troutman, N.C., was arrested on Saturday night in North Carolina.

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Michael Hand (Photo Courtesy: Troutman Police)

Gilpin released a statement following Hand’s arrest.

My 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 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.

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Hand is expected to appear in court on Monday and then the process to bring him to Massachusetts will begin.