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Florida dental hygienist, 61, will go on trial for the 1984 chilly case homicide of feminine Navy graduate


Jury choice acquired below approach on Monday within the trial of a Florida dental hygienist who has been charged with strangling to loss of life a feminine Navy recruit in 1984, and who has now been linked to a different cold-case slaying in Hawaii.

Thomas Garner, 61, was arrested in March 2019 for the killing of 25-year-old Pamela Cahanes, his fellow classmate on the Orlando Naval Coaching Heart, after investigators tracked him down utilizing the DNA testing service Parabon Nanolabs and the family tree web site GEDmatch. 

Garner has pleaded not responsible to a rely of first-degree homicide stemming from Cahanes’ loss of life. 

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Pamela Cahanes

Jury choice is below approach within the trial of Thomas Garner, 61 (left) for the 1984 homicide of Navy recruit Pamela Cahanes (proper)

Garner is also being investigated in connection with the September 1982 cold-case murder of 25-year-old Kathy Hicks in Honolulu, Hawaii. Local police shared sketches of a man Hicks was last seen with before her death (pictured above)

Garner can be being investigated in reference to the September 1982 cold-case homicide of 25-year-old Kathy Hicks in Honolulu, Hawaii. Native police shared sketches of a person Hicks was final seen with earlier than her loss of life (pictured above) 

In the meantime, Garner can be being investigated as a possible suspect within the unsolved homicide of 25-year-old Kathy Hicks, whose physique was present in a ditch in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1982, reported ClickOrlando.com. 

As of Monday morning, Garner has not been charged in reference to the Hicks case.

On August 5, 1984, two days after graduating from the naval academy in Orlando, Cahanes was discovered face-down in her underwear a yard of a vacant dwelling lined in blood. Her white uniform was discovered scattered close by

Cahanes, certainly one of eight youngsters from Minnesota, was badly crushed and strangled to loss of life. 

Investigators collected DNA proof from Cahanes’ physique, which was repeatedly submitted for testing however failed to provide a match. 

Garner was arrested in Florida in March 2019 thanks to DNA testing and genetic genealogy

Garner was arrested in Florida in March 2019 because of DNA testing and genetic family tree

Cahanes was found strangled and beaten to death two days after she had graduated from the Orlando Naval Training Center in Florida (Cahanes second left with peers at her graduation) . She and Garner were both at the training center at the same time though it's not clear how they ran into each other

Cahanes was discovered strangled and crushed to loss of life two days after she had graduated from the Orlando Naval Coaching Heart in Florida (Cahanes second left with friends at her commencement) . She and Garner have been each on the coaching heart on the identical time although it isn’t clear how they bumped into one another

A break within the case got here in 2015, when DNA from semen discovered on the sufferer’s underwear was submitted to the non-public forensic family tree service GEDMatch, which decided that the pattern got here from anyone with sub-Saharan African ancestry. 

Additional testing on the DNA pattern carried out in 2018 allowed specialists at Parabon Nanolabs to create the unknown suspect’s ‘household tree,’ which in the end let the authorities in Seminole County to Garner.

In 2019, cops trailed Garner till they noticed him throw a number of gadgets within the trash at his residence advanced, together with a bit of used dental floss, a cigarette butt and a cotton swab, reported Orlando Sentinel. 

Officers collected the gadgets and despatched them to a Florida Division of Legislation Enforcement laboratory for testing, which investigators stated returned a ‘100 per cent’ match to the DNA discovered on Cahanes’ underwear.  

The chances of the DNA belonging to anybody apart from Garner is 700 billion to at least one.

During an interview with police, Garner (far right) claimed he wouldn’t date recruits during his naval service and would never have had sex with a white woman

Throughout an interview with police, Garner (far proper) claimed he wouldn’t date recruits throughout his naval service and would by no means have had intercourse with a white girl 

Garner was arrested on March 13, 2019, however denied understanding Cahanes. Throughout a police interview, the suspect, who’s a black man, claimed he wouldn’t date recruits throughout his naval service and would by no means have had intercourse with a white girl. 

Garner has a clear prison report, apart from a battery cost throughout his time serving within the navy. 

A month earlier than Garner’s trial in Cahanes’ homicide was scheduled to start in Florida, detectives with the Honolulu Police Division filed a request for a search warrant looking for to acquire a DNA pattern from him. 

Based on the courtroom doc, police in Honolulu investigating the 1982 cold-case homicide of Kathy Hicks acquired a preliminary match from DNA that was entered into the Mixed DNA Index System taken from Garner.

Hicks was a Delta Airways worker from Atlanta who was visiting Honolulu in September 1982 to attend a softball event. 

Investigators stated her physique was discovered dumped in a ditch.

The search warrant states that Hicks advised associates that she was at a bar with some folks close to Hickam Air Drive Base in Honolulu, now known as Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam. 

Hicks has pleaded not guilty to Cahanes' murder, and he has not been charged with killing Hicks

Hicks has pleaded not responsible to Cahanes’ homicide, and he has not been charged with killing Hicks

On September 19, 1982, two joggers found Hicks’ physique dumped in a ditch. She had been crushed and strangled to loss of life.   

Witnesses supplied sketches of a person she was final seen with, described as having an African American combined ethnicity, standing 5’11” to six′ tall, weighing about 150 to 160 lbs., clear minimize with black hair, and brown eyes.

Garner was stationed in Hawaii from 1980 till October 29, 1982. 

How regulation enforcement use widespread ancestry web sites to trace down chilly case killers

Investigators throughout the nation have embraced genetic family tree, a DNA-dependent forensic approach that identifies suspects via their relations. 

The approach includes cross-referencing the DNA profile of an unidentified suspect with public databases containing DNA from customers who’ve submitted samples to shopper firms reminiscent of 23andMe and Ancestry.com to discover their household tree and get knowledgeable about potential genetic well being considerations.  

Genetic family tree gained notoriety via decades-old chilly circumstances just like the Golden State Killer, and police at the moment are utilizing it on recent circumstances as properly.  

Whereas many are excited by what genetic family tree means for the way forward for forensic investigations, others have expressed considerations about genetic privateness and coverage procedures.  



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