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How prosecutors say they followed DNA evidence to an Alabama man in 34 year old cold case

Cold Case Arrest
Tim Jean/AP
Pool The Eagle-Tribune
Marvin C. McClendon Jr. is returned to his cell following his arraignment in Lawrence District Court, Friday, May 13, 2022, in Lawrence, Mass. McClendon Jr., a 74-year-old Alabama man, was held without bail after a not guilty plea to a charge of murder in connection with the 1988 killing of 11-year-old Melissa Ann Tremblay. (Tim Jean/The Eagle-Tribune via AP, Pool)

The defense is already stating that another member of McClendon’s family could be the killer. The family of the victim in a thirty four year old cold case murder is thanking law enforcement following the arrest of an Alabama man at his home in the rural town of Bremen

Seventy four year old Marvin McClendon of Bremen, Alabama is being held without bond after prosecutors in Massachusetts used DNA evidence to link him to the 1988 crime. The eleven year old girl was found dead in a railroad yard in the town of Lawrence. Prosecutor Jessica Strasnick explained to the court that McClendon worked in the area and how the DNA evidence was narrowed down…

“Through investigation, the Commonwealth located various McClendons and took DNA samples,” said Strasnick. “DNA samples were taken from the defendant before you, Marvin McClendon, whose DNA profile was consistent with the DNA found on Melissa Tremblay’s body.”

McClendon reportedly worked in the Lawrence, Massachusetts area as a church carpenter and also as a Corrections officer, which prosecutors say places him in the area at the time of the crime in 1988. Strasnick told the court that the DNA matches the male line of McClendon’s family, so one extra detail narrowed the search.

“With the help of a medical examiner from the FBI, the Commonwealth was able to determine that the person that stabbed and killed Melissa Tremblay was left handed. In researching and interviewing the various McClendons, related to Mr. McClendon, The defendant before you is the only McClendon who is left handed.”

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