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Honolulu Murder Case Linked To a Florida Man

A 40-year-old cold case may be solved after DNA from the scene of a Honolulu murder was linked to a man in Florida. Authorities reported that the DNA from Thomas Garner of Jacksonville, Florida matched evidence from the scene where Kathy Hicks’s body was found in 1982.

According to the Honolulu Police Department’s Cold Case Unit, the 25-year-old was discovered on a grassy slope along Nuuanu Pali Drive. Reports showed that the woman was assaulted and strangled to death. Homicide detectives say the woman was fully clothed in slacks and a blouse and that she had been beaten. There were wounds on the head and face.

A warrant proved that Garner was in Honolulu at the same time Hicks was visiting for a softball tournament with her Delta Airlines co-workers. Court documents said evidence collected from the scene was entered into a national database, which connected Garner’s DNA.

Garner is currently in custody in Florida, awaiting trial for the 1984 killing of a Navy recruit. Garner was arrested in 2019 for the 1984 cold case murder of Pamela Cahanes, a navy recruit who was found murdered and sexually assaulted in the yard of an abandoned home in Sanford. Garner’s DNA preliminarily matched DNA found on September. 19, 1982, murder of Kathy Hicks in Honolulu.

Hicks was a Delta Airlines employee from Atlanta. Investigators said her body was found dumped in a ditch. According to a search warrant filed to obtain Garner’s DNA, Hicks told friends she was at a bar near what was called Hickam Air Force Base at the time. Garner was stationed in Hawaii from 1980 until Oct. 29, 1982.

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