Slain 11-Year-Old Girl’s Family Voices ‘Great Joy’ and Mixed Emotions After Elderly Defendant Arraigned in 1988 Cold Case Murder

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Melissa Ann Tremblay, and Marvin McClendon.

Melissa Ann Tremblay, and Marvin McClendon.

After more than three decades, the family of a slain New England girl are welcoming news that a man was arrested and arraigned in her death. Nonetheless, the loved ones of Melissa “Missy” Ann Tremblay, 11, are also voicing mixed emotions because it took so long to arrest murder defendant Marvin “Skip” C. McClendon Jr., 74. Relatives, including the child’s mother, have passed away in the intervening years.

“We would like to thank the Essex District Attorney’s office for helping us be ‘present’ in the courtroom yesterday remotely,” Tremblay’s cousin Danielle Root said in a statement released through the Essex District Attorney’s Office on Saturday on behalf of her own parents and sister. “We never thought that after 33 1/2 years we would finally see someone arrested and facing a judge. While we know there are many more steps we are very confident that the District Attorney’s office will be just as vigilant in prosecuting this case as the detectives have been for all these years in finding Marvin McClendon.”

The statement followed the day after a Massachusetts judge denied McClendon bail. He had been extradited from where he was arrested last month in Bremen, Alabama.

“There have been so many emotions since the end of April when we were contacted about the arrest,” Root said. “They have gone from excitement to sadness to frustration and really all over the place. We are excited to see him in jail but very sad my aunt, grandfather and other family members are no longer alive to see him facing justice.”

Authorities have said that Tremblay, who was from Salem, New Hampshire, was with her mother and the mom’s boyfriend in the nearby Massachusetts city of Lawrence on…

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