Police Arrest Man In Connection To 1988 Murder Of 11-Year-Old Girl

This crime scene is not related to the one mentioned in the story. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Kevin Harness Contributor
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A 74-year-old man was arrested in his Alabama home Tuesday in connection to the murder of an 11-year-old girl over three decades ago.

Marvin C. McClendon Jr. was taken into custody and charged as a fugitive from justice in connection to a warrant issued for the murder of Melissa Ann Tremblay, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a news release Wednesday. Tremblay was reportedly stabbed to death in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1988. (RELATED: ‘Happy Face’ Serial Killer Victim’s Identity Revealed Almost 30 Years Later)

Tremblay was with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend as they went to the LaSalle Social Club on Sept. 11, 1988, according to the release. She went out to play in the nearby neighborhoods while her mother and her mother’s boyfriend stayed inside the club.

A railroad employee and a pizza delivery driver were reportedly the last people to see Tremblay alive before her mother and her mother’s boyfriend reported her missing to the Lawrence police around 9 p.m. that night, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.

Tremblay’s body was found the next day at the railroad yard near the club. She had been “stabbed to death. Post mortem, her body was run over by a train car causing her left leg to be amputated,” Blodgett said, according to MassLive.

Bodgett said that evidence found on Tremblay’s body helped lead to McClendon Jr.’s arrest, though it’s not clear exactly what that evidence was at this time, according to CBS Boston. He reportedly added that more information would become available during the suspect’s arraignment.

“The investigation found that the suspect lived in Chelmsford in 1988, and had multiple ties to Lawrence. Specifically, investigators learned that he worked and frequented establishments in Lawrence,” the Essex County District Attorney’s office release stated.

McClendon Jr.’s possible connections to Tremblay or her family are still under investigation.

Surviving family members and close friends, including Andrea Ganley, were reportedly relieved to hear that Tremblay’s alleged killer had been found.

“This is a pleasant surprise,” Ganley said, according to CBS Boston. “I’m beyond shocked.”

McClendon Jr. was being held by the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and was scheduled to appear in court Thursday in Alabama, according to ABC Boston.