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DNA evidence links 63-year-old man to 1986 Salem cold case

DNA evidence links suspect to 1986 Salem cold case
DNA evidence links suspect to 1986 Salem cold case 01:29

BEVERLY -- The man accused of killing a college student in Beverly over 35 years ago was arraigned on a murder charge Friday. John Carey, 63, is accused of killing Claire Gravel in 1986. 

Carey was indicted back in August. He appeared at Friday's arraignment via video conference since he is serving a prison sentence from 2008 for attempted murder. 

According to prosecutors, when Carey was convicted of that attempted murder, he had to give a DNA swap. The sample linked him to DNA from the tank top worn by Claire Gravel on the day she was killed. 

Early in the morning of June 29, 1986, Gravel's friends dropped her off at her apartment after a night out at a pub. 

The next day, the 20-year-old's body was found in the woods on the northbound side of Route 128 in Beverly. 

Her family was in the courtroom for Friday's hearing. They said they are relieved a suspect has been identified. 

"Today is the first day on the road to justice, a day we didn't think was coming and it's finally here. Now just waiting for the court process to take its course," said Bob Gravel Jr. 

Police have not released a motive for the killing. 

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