The man accused of stabbing an 11-year-old girl to death in a Massachusetts railyard over 30 years ago is due in court to face a murder charge this week.
Marvin "Skip" McClendon Jr., 74, is set to appear in Lawrence District Court on Friday in the 1988 killing of Melissa Ann Tremblay, the Essex District Attorney’s Office said Monday.
The girl from Salem, New Hampshire, was found dead in the Lawrence train yard on Sept. 12, 1988, a day after she was reported missing. Her body was stabbed and had been run over by a train.
Melissa Ann had accompanied her mother and her mother’s boyfriend to the LaSalle Social Club in Lawrence, not far from the railyard, and went outside to play while the adults stayed inside, authorities have said. She was last seen by a railroad employee and a pizza delivery driver during the late afternoon hours.
McClendon was arrested last month at his home in Bremen, Alabama, and was being returned to Massachusetts to face the murder charge after waiving his right to a local court appearance. At the time, the district attorney’s office did not know if he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.
McClendon is a retired Massachusetts Department of Corrections employee, but Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett has said he isn't sure if he was working for the state in 1988. He worked for the department on three separate occasions from 1970 to 2002.
He lived in Chelmsford and was doing carpentry work at the time of the killing. He had multiple ties to Lawrence, which is close to Salem, New Hampshire. He worked in the city and frequented numerous establishments there, including the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Salem Street.
It is unclear whether the suspect and victim knew each other, Blodgett has said. He said there is no information leading investigators to believe the suspect was involved in any other crimes.