Police said yesterday they have issued a warrant for the arrest of a former boyfriend of a 34-year-old Lanham woman whose body was found in a Northeast Washington hotel room Saturday.
Pamela Marie Collins, of the 7900 block of Glenarden Parkway, was found by a maid in a room at the Howard Johnson Hotel at 600 New York Ave. NE.
Collins, who had sustained blunt-force trauma to the head, was pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor from the D.C. medical examiner's office.
Police obtained a warrant charging first-degree murder while armed for the arrest of Collins's former boyfriend, Walter McCollough III, 37. McCollough is the grandson of Bishop Walter "Sweet Daddy" McCollough, who until his death in 1991 led the District-based United House of Prayer for All People, one of the nation's largest black churches.
Yesterday, grieving relatives of Collins recalled a dedicated single mother who worked hard as a personnel clerk at the U.S. Treasury Department and cared for her 11-year-old daughter.
Collins was "a very quiet person," said her cousin Rhonda Bell. "She didn't do drugs, didn't do alcohol, didn't do anything except take care of her daughter."
A funeral is set for tomorrow.
Relatives said Collins began dating McCollough in 1992.
Court records in Maryland and the District indicate that McCollough has had a troubled past. In February 1994, McCollough was charged with beating, kidnapping and falsely imprisoning Collins and stealing her 1990 Toyota Camry, according to Prince George's County court records.
McCollough also was charged with kidnapping and falsely imprisoning Collins's daughter. McCollough pleaded guilty in May 1995 to battery and to falsely imprisoning Collins, and he was sentenced to five years in prison and two years of probation, with four years, four months of the sentence suspended, court records show. He was also ordered to stay away from Collins.
In September 1996, McCollough was charged with assault and battery in Montgomery County after a Takoma Park woman who worked with him said he kicked, beat and choked her in his car. He received a 20-day jail sentence and 18 months of probation and was ordered to stay away from the woman.
A year later, while still on probation, McCollough was arrested again at Collins's apartment. He was charged with burglary, malicious destruction of property and resisting arrest. McCollough was sentenced in January 1998 to one year in prison for burglary and resisting arrest.
Two months after the sentencing, Collins wrote a letter to Prince George's District Court supporting an ultimately successful petition by McCollough that his sentence be reduced. In May 1998, McCollough was transferred to Montgomery County, where he was imprisoned for violating his earlier probation.
Collins's relatives said her death came as a shock, and they expressed sadness at not being able to prevent it. Family members said that Collins had obtained a restraining order against McCollough this year.
"Somebody probably could have intervened, but she wouldn't tell you her business," said a family member.
Bishop McCollough's widow, Clara McCollough, said yesterday that she had not heard from her grandson, who has lived with her off and on. Police said he may be using a 1990 Silver Toyota Camry with Maryland tags WWS922.
"I don't know where he is, and I haven't seen him in three weeks," said Clara McCollough, 84. "I don't know who is wrong. I let God take care of that."
Staff writers Craig Whitlock and Fern Shen and Metro researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.