Florida dental hygienist, 61, will go on trial for the 1984 cold case murder of ...

Jury selection got under way on Monday in the trial of a Florida dental hygienist who has been charged with strangling to death a female Navy recruit in 1984, and who has now been linked to another 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 at the Orlando Naval Training Center, after investigators tracked him down using the DNA testing service Parabon Nanolabs and the genealogy website GEDmatch. 

Garner has pleaded not guilty to a count of first-degree murder stemming from Cahanes' death. 

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Thomas Garner

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Pamela Cahanes

Jury selection is under way in the trial of Thomas Garner, 61 (left) for the 1984 murder of Navy recruit Pamela Cahanes (right)

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 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) 

Meanwhile, Garner is also being investigated as a potential suspect in the unsolved murder of 25-year-old Kathy Hicks, whose body was found in a ditch in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1982, reported ClickOrlando.com. 

As of Monday morning, Garner has not been charged in connection with the Hicks case.

On August 5, 1984, two days after graduating from the naval academy in Orlando, Cahanes was found face-down in her underwear a yard of a vacant home covered in blood. Her white uniform was found scattered nearby

Cahanes, one of eight children from Minnesota, was badly beaten and strangled to death. 

Investigators collected DNA evidence from Cahanes' body, which was repeatedly submitted for testing but failed to produce a match. 

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

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

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 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

A break in the case came in 2015, when DNA from semen found on the victim's underwear was submitted to the private forensic genealogy service GEDMatch, which determined that the sample came from somebody with African ancestry. 

Further testing on the DNA sample conducted in 2018 allowed experts at Parabon NanoLabs to create the unknown suspect's 'family tree,' which ultimately led the authorities in Seminole County to Garner.

In 2019, cops trailed Garner until they

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