comscore Florida man arrested, extradited in connection with 1982 murder in Honolulu | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Florida man arrested, extradited in connection with 1982 murder in Honolulu

  • Thomas Lewis Garner

    Thomas Lewis Garner

A Hawaii cold-case murder got closer to closure today when a Florida man indicted in June for the 1982 murder of a Delta Air Lines reservation clerk was extradited to Honolulu and arrested.

An Oahu grand jury indicted Thomas Lewis Garner, 61, for the murder of Kathy Warnette Hicks, a 25-year-old Atlanta woman who was visiting Honolulu.

At the time of his indictment, Warner, a dental hygienist, was serving a life sentence in Florida for killing Pamela Jane Cahanes, 25, of Stillwater, Minn., whose body was found Aug. 5, 1984, in Sanford, Fla.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm lauded the work of Honolulu Police Department investigators who gathered the evidence necessary to secure an indictment.

“If we believe someone murdered someone we will work with HPD to follow up and hold people accountable,” Alm told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “No matter how long it takes.”

Garner was identified as a suspect in both cases using DNA evidence.

According to court records, Hicks, a Delta reservation clerk who was playing in a softball tournament sponsored by United Airlines at Kapiolani Park, had told friends she was at a bar near Hickam Air Force Base. Police said she was killed sometime between 11 p.m. Sept. 18, 1982, and 10 a.m. the next day. Her body was discovered by joggers on a grassy slope in Nuuanu.

The initial investigation of Hicks’ death centered on a suspect named “Tony” and did not result in an arrest.

The break in the cold case came after DNA found on Hicks’ underwear was tied to Garner, who was stationed in Hawaii from April 1980 until October 1982.

He was convicted in May of first-degree murder for the beating and strangling of Cahanes, a Navy recruit. Her body was dumped in an overgrown field in Central Florida two days after she graduated from boot camp at the Orlando Naval Training Center.

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