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Suspect identified in 1970s cold case murder of teenager in Anne Arundel County

Suspect identified in 1970s cold case murder of teenager in Anne Arundel County
Suspect identified in 1970s cold case murder of teenager in Anne Arundel County 02:37

BALTIMORE -- Investigators have identified a murder suspect in the cold case murder of a 16-year-old girl in Anne Arundel County over 50 years ago, police announced Friday. 

The suspect was identified as Forrest Clyde Williams III, a man who died in 2018 in Virginia, police said. 

FBI investigators identified Williams as a suspect using investigative genetic genealogy, the science of using genetic testing to generate leads. The method didn't exist at the time of the murder.

"The tools, both scientific and investigative, used to solve her murder have evolved," Thomas Sobocinski, special agent in charge at FBI's Baltimore branch, said.

Pamela Lynn Conyers, 16, attended a bonfire and pep rally at Glen Burnie High School on Oct. 16, 1970, according to police cold case files. 

That night, she drove her family car to the Harundale Mall in Glen Burnie, which was the last place she was seen alive.

Her body was found four days later, a short distance from her abandoned vehicle, in a wooded median of Maryland Route 177 near Millersville. Her cause of death was trauma to the upper body and the manner was ruled a homicide, police said. 

Pamela Lynn Conyers, Forrest Clyde Williams III Anne Arundel County Police

The area Conyers' body was found was under construction at the time and is now Route 100 near the Waterford Road/Route 648 overpass.

Michael Golden went to Glen Burnie High School the same time as Conyers did. He didn't know her too well, but her death has been top of mind all these years. It's the same for many of his classmates, too.

"I remember that Monday morning. I had trigonometry class with her. Seeing her empty desk really brought it home," he said. "It's something all of our classmates have been struggling with all these years."

Anne Arundel County Police spokesperson Lt. Jackie Davis said Friday's announcement was the result of tireless work spanning decades.

"For almost 53 years, generations of our homicide detectives have refused to give up on Pam's case," she said.

Investigators don't believe Williams ever had contact with Conyers before her murder. He moved to Anne Arundel County from Virginia in his teen years but went to Northeast High School in Pasadena. 

Police shared booking photos of Williams from when he was arrested a few times in the early 70s, but for nothing "major" or violent, police said.  

Detectives have not ruled out that another person or people were involved in Conyers' death. The investigation remains open and ongoing.

Despite the case still being open, Golden said he still got some closure from Friday's announcement. However, there's pain that just doesn't go away.

"I still mourn her death," he said. "I got to be old; she didn't. She's forever 16." 

Now that the suspect has been identified, police ask anyone with information in the murder to call AACPD at 410-222-4731.

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