Trial set for man accused in 1984 slaying of Navy recruit Pamela Cahanes in Seminole County

Jury selection scheduled to begin in murder trial of Thomas Garner

SANFORD, Fla. – Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of Thomas Garner, who’s accused of killing Navy recruit Pamela Cahanes in Seminole County in 1984.

Garner was arrested on first-degree murder charges in Jacksonville in 2019 after investigators used DNA to track him down.

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News 6 spoke to Cahanes’ family members from Minnesota when they found out about Garner’s arrest.

“I guess I didn’t think this day would come,” said Eileen Bergmann, Cahanes’ older sister. “It was 1984, they didn’t have DNA in those days and (the case) went on and on.”

Investigators said Garner denied knowing Cahanes and pleaded not guilty.

Garner is also being investigated as a possible suspect in another cold case murder. Detectives said his DNA matched with evidence from the scene where a 25-year-old woman was killed in Honolulu in 1982. So far, Garner has not been charged in the case.


About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!