Ky. prisoners could help solve cold cases with playing cards

Kentucky prisoners could help solve cold cases with playing cards

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Each card has a picture and the story of a victim in a homicide, missing person or unidentified remains case. Each card has a picture and the story of a victim in a homicide, missing person or unidentified remains case.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

PINEVILLE, Ky. (WATE) - Investigators in Kentucky are taking a page out of the U.S. military's handbook when looking for clues to unsolved crimes.

During the second Gulf War, the military put out pictures of Saddam Hussein and other leaders on playing cards. The aim was to help soldiers and Iraqis spot them during war-time confusion.

The Kentucky State Police have created their own deck of 52 playing cards. Each card has a picture and the story of a victim in a homicide, missing person or unidentified remains case.

The cases date back 50 years. For example, one card is about Jennifer Bailey, 21. Her decomposed body was found in a Bell County state park in 1990.

"I believe she was abducted and murdered while jogging in the park," said TFC (Trooper First Class) Walt Meachum.

Eight thousand decks of these cards will be introduced into state correctional facilities. The state police say prisoners have always been a great resource for leads during investigations.

"The inmates talk quite a bit and the information, for the most part, is quite reliable," said Greg Howard, a warden at the Bell County Forestry Camp, a state correctional facility.

Howard says among other things, prisoners play cards in their free time so they'll have a chance to thumb through the details in these cases.

"I'm sure they'll converse about something. They may know that happened in their hometown. Hopefully they'll network with each other and they'll come to us so we can get these cases solved," Howard said.

The unsolved crimes initiative kicked off Friday. "If we can solve just one crime from this whole deck of cards, it'll be worthwhile," Meachum said.

The public can see the deck of cards on the Kentucky State Police website.

If you have a tip about a case, call toll free 1-877-735-2648 or email.

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