Solving San Diego's cold cases may be in the cards - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Solving San Diego's cold cases may be in the cards

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego Crime Stoppers and the sheriff's department are dealing a new round of cold-case playing cards in local jails. They're hoping to draw arrests connected to the many unsolved crimes profiled in the deck.

The next round of rummy, poker or solitaire played behind bars could be a winning hand for investigators on the streets.

"We know that when people are in jail, there's a lot of information exchanged and our hope is to leverage that process," San Diego Crime Stoppers Executive Director Sally Cox said.

Authorities are dealing out a second round of the special playing cards that feature 52 unsolved homicide and missing person cases to the county's seven jails. The hope is that an inmate will come forward with tips, identities or the whereabouts of killers or missing people. It may sound like a bad bet, but investigators say it's proven to be a valuable tool.

"There was one case that we solved with the last deck and the DA's office gave credit of motivating the witnesses to come forward from these cards, and they knew it was a double homicide case," Cox said.

Cases dating back to 1980 are included in the deck and are the only cards available for inmates to purchase in jail. The sale of the cards covers the printing costs, making it both a cost-effective and case-effective way of getting answers.

"There's 52 families out there that don't have justice and want to see someone held accountable for the murder of their loved ones, and we're hoping to see that happen, and let them know that San Diego hasn't forgotten them," Cox said.

Inmates can provide information anonymously, and are also eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward of up to $1,000.

"Knowing about the reward, knowing they can be anonymous, just thinking about it might get somebody to do the right thing," Cox said.

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