Press Release

Press Release Suspect in 1986 Murder Indicted

An Essex Grand Jury has indicted a suspect in the 1986 murder of a 20-year old woman.
For immediate release:
  • Essex District Attorney’s Office

Media Contact for Suspect in 1986 Murder Indicted

Carrie Kimball, Director of Communications

Claire Gravel

Salem, MAThis morning, an Essex County Grand Jury indicted John Carey (DOB: 9/3/1959) for the murder of a 20-year-old North Andover woman in June 1986, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett announced.

On Saturday, June 29, 1986, Claire Gravel, a student at Salem State College, went to Major Magleashes’ Pub on Washington Street in Salem with friends.  She was last seen alive between 1:30 and 1:45 a.m. Sunday morning being dropped off at her apartment on Loring Avenue in Salem.  Three workmen discovered her body in the woods on the northbound side of Route 128 in Beverly on the afternoon of June 30th.  The medical examiner determined that she had been strangled to death.

“For 36 years, Claire Gravel’s family and friends have had nothing but questions about her death,” DA Blodgett said.  “Today, we are able to give them some of the answers.”

Over the years, investigators have interviewed dozens of witnesses and persons-of-interest, and followed through on every lead and tip they received. A new lead developed in 2012 and Assistant District Attorneys, State Police Detectives assigned to the Essex DA’s Office, and Salem and Beverly Police worked diligently to bring about the result we have today.  Evidence recovered from Claire’s clothing was instrumental in solving the case. 

Mr. Carey, 63, is currently incarcerated at MCI Concord for a 2008 conviction. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty on the new charges.


Media Contact for Suspect in 1986 Murder Indicted

  • Essex District Attorney’s Office 

    Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett is committed to holding criminals accountable, securing justice for victims of crime and providing services and drug treatment to non-violent offenders.
  • Image credits:  Courtesy Photo

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