Police have indicted a Massachusetts man for the 1986 murder of a North Andover woman who was a college student at the time of her death.
On Wednesday, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett announced 63-year-old John Carey would be charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Claire Gravel.
Carey, who was previously convicted of attempted murder in a separate case in 2008 and is currently incarcerated in a Massachusetts prison, is set to be arraigned at an undisclosed date, Blodgett told reporters at a press conference.
On June 29, 1986, Gravel, a student at Salem State College, spent the night out at a local pub with members of her softball team, the district attorney’s office said in a news release. She was last seen alive when her friends dropped her off at her apartment around 1:30 a.m. Her body was discovered in the woods by three workmen the following afternoon.
After years of following up on the case, authorities began pursuing a new lead in 2012. Physical evidence found on Gravel’s clothing underwent “modern forensic testing,” which ultimately led to Wednesday’s indictment, the district attorney’s office said.
“Evidence recovered from Claire’s clothing was instrumental in solving this case,” Blodgett said.
Blodgett said Gravel’s family was “very relieved” to hear the news of the indictment.
“For 36 years, Robert Gravel has carried this photo of his daughter Claire in his wallet,” Blodgett told reporters. “And today I’m pleased to announce that the man we believe who’s responsible for her murder has been indicted.”
Authorities are still investigating a motive.