Former Massachusetts corrections officer arrested in connection with the 1988 murder of an 11-year-old girl in Lawrence – The Boston Globe 2022-04-27 11:43:54


Blodgett said Tremblay’s body was discovered on September 12, 1988 in the old railroad yard in Boston and Maine in Lawrence. He said she was stabbed to death, and then a train carriage ran over her body, causing her left leg to be amputated.

Officials said McClendon was not serving as a corrections officer at the time of the murder but served three separate terms with the Department of Correction between 1970 and 2002, for a total of about 20 years in the state government. Authorities said he also worked as a carpenter in Lawrence.

Blodgett said police learned Tremblay had escorted her mother and her mother’s friend to a social club in Lawrence the day before, and that she had played in nearby neighborhoods while the two men remained inside the facility. Blodgett said the last time he saw a railroad worker and a pizza delivery driver was during the late afternoon hours.

“Over the years, the police have questioned dozens of witnesses, suspects, and people of interest,” Blodgett said. “Evidence obtained from the victim’s body was instrumental in resolving this case.”

Blodgett declined to release evidence allegedly linking McClendon to the crime, but said the evidence revealed that McClendon lived in Chelmsford in 1988 and had multiple relationships with Lawrence, including that he worked and “frequented institutions” in the city, including Seventh-day Adventists. . The church is on Salem Street.

“Melissa has never been forgotten,” Blodgett said, praising the detectives for their “tireless pursuit of justice” for her.

Asked why investigators had access to McClendon, Blodgett said only that “evidence” led to his arrest.

“The evidence will be presented to you in more detail once it’s brought to trial,” Blodgett said. “I can’t tell if he was surprised when he was interviewed in Alabama. I’ll tell you he’s been a guy for a while….we think we have the right person.”

McClendon was detained Wednesday in the Coleman County, Alabama, Sheriff’s office and will appear in Alabama courthouse for a fugitive trial Thursday, officials said. Officials said the timing of his return to Massachusetts depends on whether or not he gives up on extradition.

Blodgett said the Massachusetts DOC provided assistance with the investigation.

“This case has been pursued, I would suggest you, in a very diligent manner since 1988, ever since we discovered her body,” he said, adding that his staff indicated that the Tremblay family was “very relieved and very happy that the police involved in this matter have never given up their quest.” To bring justice to Melissa.”

He said McClendon’s arrest is a welcome development.

“I can’t even express how happy we are in this position because we are able to pursue justice for any family,” Blodgett said. “And happily, after all these years of never giving up, we think we have the right suspect.”

When asked if he has a message for anyone who thinks they can get away with murder in his county, Blodgett was candid.

“My message is, don’t think you can do that,” he said. “Because we will [make] Every effort to find someone who killed a loved one. we will [make] Every effort we have to do justice. And we will do everything we can using every resource to bring justice to the victims.”

Lawrence Police Chief Roy Fask echoed Blodgett’s words.

“I can’t imagine what it was like for a family that has been through all these years,” Vasek told reporters. “For them, it was all about wanting justice for her privately, and then, obviously, the family, so it was a very difficult situation.”

Fask also said it was upsetting to learn that McClendon was freely living in Alabama.

The boss said that made him crazy [McClendon] He was able to go about his business all these years and live a life when someone was tragically taken away from an 11-year-old girl.”

A request for comment was sent late Wednesday morning to a spokesperson for the Massachusetts DOC. Massachusetts comptroller records show that McClendon retired from government service on July 4, 2002 and collects a monthly pension of $3,040.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated. Globe staff member John R. Element contributed.

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