Suspect identified by DNA in 1970 cold case death of Pamela Conyers, strangled Glen Burnie High School student

After 52 years, law enforcement officers have identified a suspect in the 1970 killing of Pamela Lynn Conyers, a 16-year-old student at Glen Burnie High School who went to the Harundale Mall one October night and never returned home.

FBI investigators have isolated Forrest Clyde Williams as a suspect using investigative genetic genealogy, the practice of compiling DNA evidence, creating matches and generating a family tree to pinpoint a suspect.


Williams moved to Pasadena as a teenager, police said, where he attended Northeast High School. Police presented a local mugshot Friday from the suspect’s time in Anne Arundel County, saying he had only previously been arrested for “nothing big,” infractions like acting drunk and disorderly.

After working side jobs as a carpenter, he returned to Virginia, where he lived the rest of his life. Williams died in Salem, Virginia, in 2018. Other than an assault arrest a few years before he died, police said Williams didn’t have a criminal record.


Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad and Special Agent Tom Sobockinski with the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office announced the cold case update in a news conference Friday. Police said if Williams still was alive, he would have been charged in Conyers’ death.

Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal E. Awad makes her remarks at the announcement that with the help of Investigative genetic genealogy, the suspect in the murder of Pamela Lynn Conyers (pictured) on Oct. 16, 1970, has been identified as Forrest Clyde Williams, III of Virginia. Williams died in 2018.

“Pamela was never forgotten,” Awad said Friday, “nor will she ever be forgotten.”

Shortly after attending a homecoming bonfire at Glen Burnie High School on Oct. 16, 1970, Conyers took her parents’ 1967 Dodge Monaco to run an errand to Harundale Mall. When she didn’t come home, her parents reported her missing to county police.

Officers found the car three days later in a wooded area near Route 100 and Mountain Road, the latter of which was under construction at the time — today, the area is near the Waterford Road/Route 648 overpass. On Oct. 20, 1970, four days after she went missing, Conyers’ body was found. The teenager had been strangled.

The case has been a source of mystery for years. At one time, investigators wondered whether Conyers’ death was tied to the 1969 murder of Catholic high school teacher Sister Cathy Cesnik, which was featured in the Netflix docuseries “The Keepers.”

Suspicions shifted to Williams after the FBI used DNA technology that Sobocinski said provides “hope [for cases] where there may have been none.”

Breaking News Alerts

As it happens

Be informed of breaking news as it happens and notified about other don't-miss content with our free news alerts.

Police said there was no evidence Williams knew Conyers before her death, adding not much was known about the suspect. Police also said they have not ruled out the possibility of more suspects.

Michael Golden attended Glen Burnie High School with Conyers. Admitting he was not as close to Conyers as some of his classmates, Golden remembered her as a kind person with a “girl next door” demeanor. They played in band together — he the bass and she the flute — and were in the same trigonometry class.


Golden said the severity of the case hit him when he saw Conyers’ empty desk the day before her body was found.

Talking to media, Golden said it felt “kind of good” to see a suspect attached to the killing. He was frustrated, however, that so little was known about Williams. According to an obituary, he was a hunter, fisherman and passionate fan of NASCAR and the Dallas Cowboys.

Police said Conyers’ family, whose surviving members did not attend Friday’s news conference, asked for privacy in the wake of the announcement.

Including Conyers’ killling, there are 79 cold case homicides listed on the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s website. The most recent involved Xavier John Arthur Green, a 28-year-old shot in Glen Burnie.

Police are asking anyone with information about Conyers or Williams contact the Anne Arundel County homicide unit at 410-222-4731 or leave an anonymous tip at 410-222-4700.