The family of 11-year-old Melissa Tremblay, who was murdered 35 years ago, are speaking out following the arrest of a retired corrections officer this week.
The family released a statement on Friday thanking law enforcement for their efforts in arresting Marvin "Skip" McClendon Jr., 74, of Breman, Alabama.
"We would like to thank the police who have worked so hard over the years to make sure justice was found," the family said in a statement issued by the Essex County District Attorney's Office.
The body of Melissa, a resident of Salem, New Hampshire, was found in a railway yard in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on Sept. 12, 1998. She had been stabbed and run over by a freight car.
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"Since her murder in 1988, we have always prayed for justice," Danielle Root said on behalf of Melissa's aunt, uncle and cousins. "We have never stopped thinking of Missy, despite what others, who say they are her friends, have said in the media in the past years. My aunt Janet may not have used the best judgement in allowing Missy to play around the neighborhood of the social club, but that is between her and God. She loved Missy and never intended any harm to come to her."
McClendon, a retired employee of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, was arrested Tuesday. He waived rendition in Alabama and will be returned to Massachusetts to face murder charges.
"We are very eager for the next steps that the Essex County DA's office will be taking in the prosecution of Marvin McClendon," Root said in her statement.