FRISCO, Colo. – The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is distributing playing cards with photos of unsolved homicide victims featured on the face, hoping to get people to help solve cold cases by providing a few details with each case and a phone number to contact police.
One deck marks 52 unsolved cases, and authorities have two additional decks in the works. There are currently 1,600 unresolved cases in Colorado, including 1,330 homicides.
In the first deck of cards, the seven of diamonds and the seven of hearts feature two women whose bodies were found south of Breckenridge in 1982. Bobbi Jo Oberholtzer was found with a gunshot wound near the summit of Hoosier Pass. Annette Schnee was found with a similar wound six months later in rural Park County.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation first started distributing the cards in October, and after a successful test run, sent them to local law enforcement agencies and detention centers in January.
The state started the program by ordering 5,000 decks. Authorities plan to order and distribute an additional 10,000 decks in the next year. The cards cost $1.14 per deck.
The agency's cold case analyst Audrey Simkins said it's worth the gamble.
"It's a little pricey. But if that was your father, daughter, loved one or spouse, it's hard to put a price on that," Simkins said. "We have gotten about four dozen calls that have come in and are opening the doors on those cases. Not all of them are going to pan out. But at least the phone's ringing."
The cards have seen success in other states, such as Florida, where 14 cases were solved, and South Carolina, where 10 cases were solved. Among the 17 states where decks are distributed, 40 cases have been solved, and hundreds of tips have come in through phone lines, the Summit Daily reported (http://tinyurl.com/l9c3o98 ).
For a case to qualify, it must be more than 3 years old, but not date back further than 1970. Cold-case homicides, missing persons reports and unidentified remains are all included.
Information from: Summit Daily News, http://www.summitdaily.com/