Pamela Lynn Conyers was when she was found dead in a car in October 1970. Almost 53 years later, police in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, believe they know who killed her.
However, justice, as meted out by the state, will remain elusive indefinitely; the man allegedly responsible for her death is also dead.
On Friday, the Anne Arundel County Police Department said Forrest Clyde Williams III, from Salem, Virginia, is the killer.
“After more than 52 years, we’ve identified the suspect in the murder of Pamela Lynn Conyers,” Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad said in comments reported by Baltimore-based NBC affiliate WBAL. “That suspect is Forrest Clyde Williams III; however, Mr. Williams died in 2018. If he were still alive, he would have been charged with the murder of Pamela Conyers.”
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Conyers attended Glen Burnie High School in the Baltimore suburb of the same name when she died. Her family last saw her alive when she left in the family car to run an errand at the Harundale Plaza mall around 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 16, 1970. She never returned and was reported missing that same night.
Three days later, the car was discovered near Mountain Road and Route 100. The day after that, her loved ones’ worst fears were realized. Conyers’ body was found between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Maryland Route 177, extending into Millersville, Maryland.
Several pieces of evidence were processed from the crime scene, according to Washington, D.C.-based Fox affiliate WTTG. But none of those pieces of evidence were much help until decades later.
“This is a case that has haunted me for close to 53 years,” classmate Mike Golden told WBAL. “I remember distinctly when Pam went missing. I remember that Monday morning. I had (trigonometry) class with her, and seeing her empty desk really brought it home, made it real. I still mourn her death. I got to be old. She didn’t. She’s forever 16.”
According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland, the victim died due to “asphyxiation due to strangulation.”
Williams attended Northeast High School in Pasadena, Maryland. A photograph of the suspected killer provided during the press conference was taken months after the slaying when he was arrested on charges unrelated to the murder.
The alleged killer would have been 74 if he were still alive, police said.
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While details about the investigation are scarce, law enforcement said the breakthrough was made possible through DNA evidence and genetic genealogy.
“The FBI, through investigative genetic genealogy, have helped identify the man who killed Pamela,” Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office Tom Sobocinski said during the press conference. “We hope this offers some consolation to those who loved her.”
Law enforcement said Conyers’ family was notified of the development and requested privacy.
Officials believe Williams was responsible for Conyers’ death. However, they also urged anyone with additional information to come forward.
“Detectives and investigators have not ruled out the possibility that another person or persons may be involved in Pam’s murder,” Anne Arundel County Police Lt. Jacklyn Davis said during the press conference.
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