Cause of death was found to be a massive skull fracture.
Hand was charged as a fugitive from justice based on an arrest warrant for the murder of Gilpin, said the Plymouth County District's Attorney's Office.
But on Friday night, 31 years later, Massachusetts State Police said "information was developed" that led them to team up with authorities in Troutman, North Carolina, to bring a 61-year-old man into custody.
For more than three decades, the killing of Tracy Gilpin remained unsolved.
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Tracy Gilpin remained missing for 21 days until a hiker discovered her body in Myles Standish State Forest in Plymouth, Massachusetts, 14 miles away from where she was last seen.
In February 2017, Tracy's older sister Colonel Gilpin told Dateline her little sister had called the woman at whose home the party had been held, asking if she would come get her and take her home, as she didn't want to walk alone.
She went on to talk about how she is not just thinking of getting justice for her family but "all the families who have lost loved ones to violence". Authorities have begun extradition proceedings to send him back to MA.
Photo Tracy Gilpin in an undated photograph. "We will continue to work tirelessly to find justice for all murder victims", she said.
They lived in the Rocky Nook area of Kingston.
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Tracy asked the woman who threw the party for a ride home, but the woman couldn't leave. She went there after going to a party with friends.
Shortly after that, Gilpin stopped at a convenience store where she bought a pack of cigarettes and used a payphone.
Hand back to MA, where he will be charged with murder, according to the office of the Plymouth County district attorney, Timothy J. Cruz.
"In the last 30 years, science has gotten to the point where it is incredible", Col. Gilpin said last year.
The night Tracy disappeared she babysat at a home in Kingston on October 1, 1986.
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