The trial of Marvin “Skip” McClendon Jr., accused of the 1988 murder of Melissa Ann Tremblay, is set to commence with jury selection on Monday in a Massachusetts courtroom. McClendon, a former Massachusetts corrections officer from Alabama, was apprehended last year and has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Tremblay, whose body was discovered in a Lawrence, Massachusetts, railyard.
Melissa Ann, originally from Salem, New Hampshire, was reported missing on September 11, 1988, and was found dead the following day. The girl had been with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend at the LaSalle Social Club in Lawrence and was last seen playing outside the club.
McClendon’s arrest in May 2022 brought a long-awaited update to the case, with Tremblay’s family expressing relief and frustration over the time taken to find the suspect. McClendon, who had worked intermittently for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections from 1970 to 2002, was living in Chelmsford and working as a carpenter at the time of the killing. He had several connections to Lawrence, including frequent visits to local establishments and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Investigators linked McClendon to the case through DNA evidence found on Melissa Ann in 2014, leading them to his family members. McClendon, identified as the only left-handed family member, matched the profile of someone who could have inflicted the fatal wound on the girl. Additionally, his vehicle matched descriptions of a van seen near Melissa Ann on the day of her disappearance.
The evidence list for the trial includes DNA reports, crime scene photos, interviews, and more. Opening statements are scheduled for Thursday in Salem Superior Court.