Investigators have not given up on a mystery that has baffled Faulkner County residents for nearly three decades as they follow up on leads following a potential break in a 28-year-old murder case announced earlier this week.
Pamela Faye Felkins was reported missing on Feb. 2, 1990. Her husband, David, called authorities after he found she was missing when he routinely went to pick her up at 9 p.m. from work at the Cross Roads Video store in Greenbrier.
Family members reportedly searched throughout the night and called the Greenbrier Police Department after finding the 32-year-old woman's body in a muddy ravine the next day.
Feb. 3, 1990 is the day Felkins' family members learned she was brutally murdered.
Faulkner County Sheriff's Office spokesman Adam Bledsoe said Felkins' body was recovered out of a dump site off Clinton Mountain Road in McGintytown.
According to Felkins' case file, she was found fully clothed just 20 feet off the roadway in a muddy ravine that was often used as a trash dump site. An autopsy report later showed Felkins' had also been raped before she was killed from blunt force trauma to the head. To this day, no one has been charged in the 32-year-old woman's murder.
Earlier this week, the sheriff's office announced it had a potential break that brought the cold case back to life after 28 years. Bledsoe said investigators sent off evidence to be reevaluated, noting that new technology allowed for a reconstruction of what Felkins' killer looked like.
"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," he said. "With the advent of particular technologies, previously submitted DNA results have given investigators persons of interest."
Renderings of the suspect were blasted across the state via social media. Since renderings of the suspect have been released, the sheriff's office has been following up on leads in hopes to identify Felkins' killer.
"Investigators are following up with any information that comes to our office," Blesdoe said Friday.
While the sheriff's office is grateful for the feedback it's received thus far, Bledsoe said investigators have a set goal of solving this case and bringing justice to Felkins and her family.
"We are thankful the public has seen what we put out and for feedback that's been given," he said. "However, we will not be completely satisfied until this case is solved."
DNA evidence was recently sent off to ParabonNanLabs, a DNA technology company that specializes 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, commonly 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.
It was a long, rainy night the night Felkins was raped and murdered. Those who have worked the case have often noted the oddity they stumbled upon in the fact that everything at the movie store seemed in place on Feb. 2, 1990.
"There was a cigarette burning in the ashtray. A cup of coffee in there was still warm. There were two videos sitting on the counter," Randy Crouch, who was Greenbrier police chief at the time, said just days after Felkins' murder.
Crouch has also said it appeared as if Felkins was getting ready to charge a customer for movie rentals, noting he did not believe she knew the individual's name because it was not already written on the checkout list.
Investigators' notes also show there wasn't a struggle at the movie store the night Felkins was abducted — the cash register was left open, but the money remained inside it when authorities arrived on scene.
Chief Deputy Matt Rice said the sheriff's office hopes to make use of this new technology and hopes it leads to answers that 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.
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.