Troutman man arrested in 1986 murder will be extradited to Massachusetts


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — A Troutman man arrested for the killing of a Massachusetts girl three decades ago will  be charged with her 1986 murder. 

61-year-old Michael Hand is in the process of being extradited to Massachusetts after appearing in Iredell County court Monday morning. 

Neighbors in Troutman describe hand as a loner, only leaving his house to travel to Boston. Court documents FOX 46 Charlotte picked up Monday appear to back up neighbors claims.

Michael Hand’s court appearance Monday morning was brief. He agreed to return to Massachusetts where he will be charged with the October 1986 murder of 15-year-old Tracy Gilpin.

Court documents obtained by FOX 46 Charlotte reveal that Hand has not been issued a bond because he is considered a flight risk.

The documents signed by Hand show that he started renting his home in Troutman between 2008 and 2009. His sole source of income was social security and disability checks.  Hand listed his average monthly income as $750.

“To me he acted like he knew everything. As long as I was handing out to him it was fine, but when I told him I wasn’t going to do it anymore and he had to do it on his own, he got irritated at me,” said neighbor, Calvin Ostwalt.

Court documents state Hand was not married at the time of his arrest and he lived in his Troutman home alone.

He was arrested Friday night by Troutman Police and Massachusetts investigators.

Before being hauled off to jail Hand requested a neighbor look after his home, which happens to be Calvin Ostwalts daughter.

“He said she could have anything she wanted in the house and for her to look after the dog,” said Ostwalt.

Neighbors say that was Hands hint, he will never be returning home.

15-year-old Tracy Gilpin’s body was found in 1986 in a Massachusetts State Park. Investigators say Gilpin died from a massive skull fracture.

FOX 46 Charlotte asked investigators what specifically led to the arrest of Michael Hand after all these years, but they refused to comment.


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