Arrest made in 1988 case

Investigators on Wednesday announced the arrest of an Alabama man in connection with the fatal stabbing of an 11-year-old New Hampshire girl in 1988.Officials with the Essex County district attorney’s office announced the arrest of Marvin C. “Skip” McClendon Jr. , 74, of Bremen, Alabama, on a fugitive-from-justice charge for an arrest warrant connected to the killing of Melissa Tremblay, 11, of Salem, New Hampshire.On Sept. 12, 1988, Tremblay was found stabbed to death and left in the path of a train in Lawrence, Massachusetts.The sixth-grader had been with her mother at the LaSalle Club, which is a block from the rail yard. Tremblay had wandered out of the club and was never seen alive again. >> WMUR archive coverage from 1988: Tremblay’s death | Tremblay’s funeralTremblay was an only child and her mother has since died. In recent years, childhood friends of Tremblay ignited a social media push to bring new attention to the case. Andrea Ganley, a childhood friend of Tremblay’s and a longtime advocate who has labored to keep the case alive, said she’s having trouble processing the fact that an arrest has been made, but she always believed this day would come. “I always had hope. I just did not know this day would happen,” she said. “It’s been so long, and I worked so hard to find some closure to this.” Officials said McClendon, a retired Massachusetts Department of Corrections employee, is in the custody of the Cullman County sheriff’s office and will be arraigned in an Alabama courtroom on Thursday. “He has been a person of interest for a period of time,” Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “I can not say if he was surprised or not, but we believe we have the right person.” Blodgett said evidence found on the girl’s body was instrumental in solving the case, but he declined to go into greater details about the nature of that evidence. He said more information will be released when McClendon is arraigned.Tremblay’s family, including aunts and a cousin, were notified of the arrest Tuesday night and Wednesday. The district attorney said they were happy and relieved that an arrest has been made.It’s unclear when McClendon would be returned to Massachusetts. Blodgett said that will depend on whether he waives extradition.

Investigators on Wednesday announced the arrest of an Alabama man in connection with the fatal stabbing of an 11-year-old New Hampshire girl in 1988.

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Officials with the Essex County district attorney’s office announced the arrest of Marvin C. “Skip” McClendon Jr., 74, of Bremen, Alabama, on a fugitive-from-justice charge for an arrest warrant connected to the killing of Melissa Tremblay, 11 , of Salem, New Hampshire.

On Sept. 12, 1988, Tremblay was found stabbed to death and left in the path of a train in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

The sixth-grader had been with her mother at the LaSalle Club, which is a block from the rail yard. Tremblay had wandered out of the club and was never seen alive again.

>> WMUR archive coverage from 1988: Tremblay’s death | Tremblay’s funeral

Tremblay was an only child and her mother has since died. In recent years, childhood friends of Tremblay ignited a social media push to bring new attention to the case.

Andrea Ganley, a childhood friend of Tremblay’s and a longtime advocate who has labored to keep the case alive, said she’s having trouble processing the fact that an arrest has been made, but she always believed this day would come.

“I always had hope. I just did not know this day would happen,” she said. “It’s been so long, and I worked so hard to find some closure to this.”

Officials said McClendon, a retired Massachusetts Department of Corrections employee, is in the custody of the Cullman County sheriff’s office and will be arraigned in an Alabama courtroom on Thursday.

“He has been a person of interest for a period of time,” Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “I can not say if he was surprised or not, but we believe we have the right person.”

Blodgett said evidence found on the girl’s body was instrumental in solving the case, but he declined to go into greater details about the nature of that evidence. He said more information will be released when McClendon is arraigned.

It’s unclear when McClendon would be returned to Massachusetts. Blodgett said that will depend on whether he waives extradition.

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