Timothy Bernard

On December 1, 2023, authorities announced that 62-year-old Timothy Bernard was charged with the April 8, 2001 murder of 46-year-old Cynthia Baver in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Baver was found deceased in her home. She had a cord wrapped around her neck, and she had been stabbed several times in her torso. She also suffered blunt force injuries which fractured her forehead and the back of her skull. Her purse had been rifled through, and its contents had been dumped beside her body. Investigators found numerous bloodstains: on a shirt covering her chest, as well as on items, floors, and walls throughout the home, in the breezeway beside her row home, and a window with the neighbouring home. Her waterbed had been stabbed with a pair of scissors and was leaking.

A DNA profile of a single suspect was developed from the bloodstains found throughout Baver’s home. The profile was checked regularly in CODIS but did not produce a hit. Baver’s father contacted the Reading Police Department in 2021 and asked them to reopen their homicide investigation. A DNA profile suitable for genetic genealogy was produced in September of 2022.

The FIGG investigation was conducted by Bode Technologies in partnership with the Reading Police Department, beginning in January of 2023.

Bernard lived next door to Baver at the time of her murder. Bernard, who suffers from aneurysms, told police that knew Baver and that he would often buy drugs from her. He provided a sample of his DNA, which matched that found at the crime scene.

Bernard is facing charges of first-degree murder, third-degree murder, burglary, and aggravated assault in Berks County.


Chang, David. “Neighbor Charged in 2001 Cold Case Murder of PA Woman 22 Years Later.” NBC News 10 Philadelphia, December 1, 2023. Accessed December 9, 2023. https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/neighbor-charged-in-2001-cold-case-murder-of-pa-woman-22-years-later/3710887/.

Hendrickson, Beccah. “New Technology Helps Solve Berks County Cold Case After More than 20 Years.” ABC News 6, December 1, 2023. Accessed December 9, 2023. https://6abc.com/cold-case-solved-reading-pennsylvania-cynthia-baver-killed-timothy-bernard-charged/14129056/.

Rearden, Caitlin. “Berks DA: Arrest Made in Cold Case Homicide of Cynthia Baver.” WFMZ News, December 1, 2023. Accessed December 9, 2023. https://www.wfmz.com/_homepage_top_stories/berks-da-arrest-made-in-cold-case-homicide-of-cynthia-baver/article_d2606c08-905f-11ee-920e-7f90785eb841.html.


First Name Timothy
Last Name Bernard
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2023-01-00
Case Cleared 2023-12-01
IGG Org Bode


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
2118 Cynthia Baver 46 2001-04-08 Reading, PA Reading PD First degree murder Case is currently pending before the court Berks CO CT COM PL

Last updated: February 13, 2024

To contribute information on new or existing IGG cases, use this form.

Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.