Suspect Is Finally Charged In The Cold Case Stabbing Murder of 11-Year-Old Girl

Sixth grader Melissa Tremblay was found stabbed to death in a railway yard in 1988. Now, over 30 years later, an arrest has been made for her murder.

Melissa Tremblay, pictured here smiling, was found dead in 1988. Now, over 30 years later, an arrest has been made for her murder.

Sixth grader Melissa Tremblay was found stabbed to death in a railway yard in 1988. Now, over 30 years later, an arrest has been made for her murder.

Photo by: Essex District Attorney's Office

Essex District Attorney's Office

Eleven-year-old Melissa Ann Tremblay’s 1988 murder in Lawrence, Massachusetts, gained national attention. However, the case went cold and remained unsolved for nearly 34 years until an arrest was finally made on April 26, 2022.

Marvin C. McClendon, Jr., a 74-year-old man currently living in Bremen, Alabama, was arrested and charged as a fugitive from justice. The suspect was a former Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer, and he was doing carpentry work at the time of the child’s murder. According to CBS Boston, he had been a suspect for some time.

On Sept. 11, 1988, Tremblay, who lived in Salem, New Hampshire, went with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend to the LaSalle Social Club nine miles away in Lawrence, Massachusetts. While the adults stayed indoors, she went outside to play in the surrounding neighborhoods, reported CNN. Witnesses last saw her in the late afternoon of Sept. 11. Her mother frantically searched for her before reporting her missing that evening.

The 11-year-old’s body was found in an old railway yard the day after she was reported missing by her mother. She had been repeatedly stabbed, according to MSN. After her death, her body was hit by a train which caused her leg to be severed.

At a news conference after McClendon’s arrest, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said, “I can’t even express how gratified we are in this office that we are able to pursue justice for any family, and it is extremely gratifying that after all these years of never giving up, we believe we have the right suspect.”

Next Up

True Crime News Roundup: Elderly Man Missing For Months Found Dead In Trash Can Outside His Home

Plus: NYC sixth-grader struck and killed by stray bullet; New Hampshire police search for person of interest in double homicide; Fyre Festival fraudster released early from prison; and manhunt continues for escaped Texas prisoner.

True Crime News Roundup: Missing California Woman Found Dead In Remote Woods, Ex-Husband Arrested

Plus: Four University of Idaho students brutally murdered; Pregnant Florida mom found shot; Gabby Petito’s family awarded $3 million in lawsuit; Parents of boy found dead in washing machine charged with his murder.

Bite Marks Left On Victim’s Body Help Police Identify Suspect In 1994 Cold Case Murder

“She told us that someone had been taking photos of her and hanging up when she answered the phone,” the mother of Cheri Huss recalls.

50 Years Later, Suspect Arrested In Hawaii Murder Of Teenage Girl

On Jan. 7, 1972, Nancy Anderson’s body was found stabbed 63 times in the bedroom of her Honolulu apartment. Her case went unsolved for over 50 years.

True Crime News Roundup: Dermatologist Accused Of Trying To Poison Her Husband With Drain Cleaner

Plus: New Orleans mother suspected of fatally stabbing her daughter; police make arrest in 1982 cold case murder of California teen; Gabby Petito’s family announces wrongful death lawsuit; New Hampshire police now investigating case of child missing for years as homicide.

A Massachusetts College Student’s 1986 Cold Case Murder Was Finally Solved 36 Years Later

20-year-old Claire Gravel spent the night of June 29, 1986 with friends at a pub. After she was dropped off at her Salem apartment early the next morning, she was never seen alive again.

Texas Truck Driver Charged In Nearly 30-Year-Old Cold Case Murder Of California Mother

The body of Sherri Herrera, 30, was found along a California freeway onramp on March 30, 1993. Nearly 30 years later, a suspect has been charged with her murder.

30 Years Later, Tech CEO Charged With The 1992 Cold Case Murder Of Roommate’s Girlfriend

Advances in DNA technology led to the July 2022 arrest of John Kevin Woodward for the murder of 25-year-old Laurie Houts.

DNA From Coffee Cup Solves 1975 Cold Case Murder Of 19-Year-Old Lindy Sue Biechler

In July 2022, one of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania’s oldest cold cases was solved when David Sinopoli, 68, was arrested for the brutal murder of Lindy Sue Biechler.

Sacramento’s Oldest Cold Case Has Been Solved Thanks To Advances In DNA

28-year-old Nancy Bennallack was murdered in October of 1970. Over 50 years later, police have identified her killer.