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DNA helps crack Berkeley cold case

FARMINGTON, MO -A Berkeley murder mystery lasting more than 5 years has led to a charge of murder in the 1st degree against a Kentucky inmate.  Patti Ann Harvill’s body was found by her sister in April of 2012.  She was found inside her Berkeley home. The family held vigils year after year outside that home without having any answers.

Family members were recently notified that a DNA match from Kentucky inmate Kavion Thomas matched DNA left at the murder scene of their loved one.

“I’m glad they have him locked up.  He’s not going to hurt anybody else but he took away everything for me,” said Gina Giardina, Harvill’s sister.

Giardina and her family have questioned the way Berkeley Police handled the investigation.  They felt the Major Case Squad should have been requested.  Giardina says police in Kentucky arrested Thomas in 2014 but did not immediately place Thomas’ DNA into the Combined DNA Index System also known as CODIS.

“I thank God every day it was connected, you know whether it was 5 years, 10 years, maybe now we can get some kind of peace,” said Keri Giardina, Harvill’s sister.  “That’s all I want for my family.”

Gina Giardina now displays a tattoo on her arm honoring her late sister.

“I never added rest in peace because she wasn’t resting in peace,” she said.  “Now I will.”

Thomas remains jailed in Kentucky.  He faces a $500,000 cash only bond in St. Louis County.