A 28-year-old murder case is brought back to the surface after new technologies have offered a potential break.
Pam Felkins was reported missing on Feb. 2, 1990. Authorities believe she was abducted from the Crossroads Video store in Greenbrier where she worked. Spokesman Adam Bledsoe said Felkins' "brutally murdered body" was discovered on Feb. 3, 1990, at a dump site off Clinton Mountain Road in McGintytown. To this day, no one has been charged in Felkins' murder.
Bledsoe said evidence that was resubmitted for review could help investigators identify a suspect in Felkins' 1990 murder.
"Sheriff Tim Ryals assigned this case to investigators with the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Division," he said Monday. "With the advancements in DNA technology, investigators [John] Fowlkes and [Kent] Hill have resubmitted evidence to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for DNA, toxicology and trace evidence analysis.
"With the advent of particular technologies, previously submitted DNA results have given investigators persons of interest."
Chief Deputy Matt Rice said the Felkins' case has been on his mind since he was first assigned to the case back in 2003.
"Technology has changed. Some of this evidence we've had, and we've had it for years," he said. "Hopefully, [this upgrade in technology] will help us with this case. Hopefully, this will trigger something in someone's mind and will lead us to answers."
DNA samples were sent off to ParabonNanoLabs, a DNA technology company that specialized in DNA phenotyping, which is the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.
Bledsoe said law enforcement agencies use this phenotyping source, known as Snapshot, to narrow suspect lists and to generate leads in criminal investigations.
This technology has helped render what the suspect in Pam Felkins' case would have looked like at 25 and 55 years of age.
"Using DNA evidence from this investigation, Snapshot produced trait predictions for a person of interest," Bledsoe said. "Individual predictions were made for the subject's ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling and face shape. By combining these attributes of appearance, a Snapshot composite was produced depicting [what] the person of interest may have looked like at 25 years old with an average BMI of 22. These default values were used because age and BMI cannot be determined by DNA."
Snapshot predictions show the suspect was a white male with a fair skin tone. The man had either brown or blonde hair, with green eyes and had zero to a few freckles on his face.
Rice said the sheriff's office is making use of technology that previously wasn't available and hopes someone will come forward and bring justice to Felkins and her family.
"She's owed that," he said.
Over the years, several law enforcement agencies have worked on the Felkins case, including the 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Arkansas State Police, Greenbrier Police Department, Conway Police Department, Faulkner County Coroner's Office, Arkansas State Crime Lab and the FBI.
Rice said each agency shares a common goal: "To bring justice to Pam Felkins."
Anyone who believes they recognize the man rendered in the photos is asked to call the sheriff's office.
"The message we wish to send is our investigators are working diligently in honor of Pam Felkins," Bledsoe said. "We will not stop until this crime has been solved. FCSO investigators are getting closer thanks to advancement[s] in technology."
To leave a tip, call investigators Fowlkes or Hill at 501-450-4917. Tips can also be submitted anonymously under the CrimeTips tab online at www.fcso.ar.gov.