Murder Victim’s Grandson Search Leads To Arrest Of Killer

March 25, 2010

US (ChattahBox) – The grandson of a man who was murdered in the 1950’s has led to the recapture of his killer, after hiring a private investigator that managed to track him to a wedding chapel in Arizona, where he was working as a notary public.

Clarence Pellet was driving into town in a blizzard in 1951 when he picked up a hitchhiking drifter, 19-year-old Frank Dryman. Despite Pellet’s good intentions, he was shot to death by Dryman, who dumped the body, stole the car, and drove to Canada.

He was picked up there by local authorities, sent back to the States, and sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled in 1969 and disappeared in 1971.

But Clem Pellet, the grandson who never really knew his father’s father, was not originally intending to find the killer and bring him to justice once more.

“I was just putting together an old family story … and these serendipitous events happened, and we accidentally caught him,” he explained in a CNN interview.

He started by going over news paper clippings his mother had saved, which described the murder.

“It’s hard — this is someone I never knew, but as I read, I thought, ‘You know, this poor man who happens to be my grandfather — his death just got kicked to the curb,’ and that became the issue.”

He then spent a year working with the Montana Department of Corrections, tracking down any information he could on the man who had become the longest running convict in the state’s history.

Knowing he may very well be dread, Pellet used an old P.O. Box address as a starting point, and hired several private investigators to track him down.

It was a tattoo that finally led to him being identified as a man who ran a wedding chapel in a small town between Tuscon and Phoenix, Arizona.

“What I really wanted to do (was) check his hands — for the tattoos. I knew that this fellow was probably the one, because I was looking for the letters L-O-V-E tattooed on his knuckles. And I could see he had old stars tattooed on his fingers to cover ‘love.’ I called up to the other investigator and said ‘I think I got your guy,'” investigator Patrick Cote said.

Dryman is now behind bars once again at the age of 74, and the Pellet family can rest easy knowing their murdered loved one’s killer is once again on the radar of the law.

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