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Playing cards designed to help solve cold cases

Idaho law enforcement will be using a new tool to try and solve the state’s cold cases– playing cards.

Crystal Douglas, the woman behind East Idaho Cold Cases, designed a traditional playing card deck showing names and faces of missing persons and unsolved murder victims.

When Ben Smith first saw his sister, Linda, on a card he couldn’t really articulate his emotions.

“It was neat to see,” Smith said. “Not necessarily neat to see the (victims), but to see them featured like that and to know what they could possibly do in the long run.”

The cards will be distributed to inmates this month. They will also be worked into county jails statewide.

“By keeping the names, the faces, the dates and the towns in the public’s awareness– somebody somewhere will see the information and decide to maybe call that tip line,” said Douglas.

Smith said the whole process has created a support network for the victims’ families.

“I’ve gone out of my comfort zone and I’ve offered my ear or my shoulder to other family members to let them know they’re not alone in this,” said Smith.

For this first batch, the Idaho Department of Corrections helped fund their production.

Douglas plans to design more decks to showcase more cases. She is also trying to make the cards available publicly.

Douglas has set up a fund for donations to do just that. You can donate to:

Crime Stoppers of Bonneville-Idaho Falls, Attention Cold Case Cards, 310 E. Elm Street, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402.

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