Attorney General Florida Launches Cold Case Playing Cards to Solve Crimes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.Attorney General Ashley Moody, with the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers, Florida Sheriffs Association and Florida Department of Corrections, at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office today announced the launch of Cold Case Cards. Each playing card features a photograph and information about an unsolved homicide or missing-person case. More than 5,000 decks will be distributed to Florida jails and prisons to generate new leads and insights from inmates to help solve longstanding criminal investigations.

“As a former federal prosecutor and now as Attorney General, I have seen so many stalled investigations get new life after someone came forward with groundbreaking information,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “Sometimes that new information comes from criminals or co-conspirators, who have a change of conscience or may be motivated by a reward. Since taking office, we have launched several innovative initiatives to bolster ongoing efforts to solve cold cases, and today we are taking action to generate even more leads to help law enforcement bring criminals to justice. We are giving Cold Case Cards to inmates, but we are not playing games. This low-tech approach to generating tips may prove to be an ace up the sleeve as we continue to bring finality to seemingly unbreakable cases.” 

Florida Association of Crime Stoppers President Frank Brunner said, “The Florida Association of Crime Stoppers, alongside partners including the Florida Attorney General’s Office, the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Department of Corrections, and Season of Justice, a national organization dedicated to solving cold cases, is embarking on a statewide initiative. This effort aims to address some of Florida’s most haunting cold-case homicides. By spotlighting these cases within correctional and detention facilities, the collective hope is to generate leads that will aid in solving them, offering much-needed closure to the families and loved ones of the victims.”

More than 5,000 decks of cards will be printed and distributed to more than 60 county jails overseen by Florida Sheriffs’ offices, and 145 sites overseen by FDOC. Each of the cards will tell the story of a missing person or an unsolved homicide case, as well as information about how to report an anonymous tip through **TIPS (8477). Digital versions of the cards will also be available to view online.

Other states have seen success through similar programs. In Connecticut, similar decks have helped the state solve 20 cold cases, and in South Carolina, at least eight cases were solved.

Tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a cash reward of up to $9,500. Tipsters will remain anonymous.

In February, Attorney General Moody announced the new Florida Cold Case Investigations Unit, housed within the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution. The unit is already producing results, helping investigate and prosecute the suspect of the 2010 murder of a 16-year-old Alachua County boy. The CCIU is currently investigating several cases shown on the Cold Case Cards. For more information about CCIU, click here.

Earlier versions of the playing cards have proved successful. In July 2007, the Attorney General’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FACS released an older version of Cold Case Cards that led to an arrest. In 2004, construction workers found 34-year-old Ingrid Lugo’s body floating in a retention pond. After seeing the information on one of the cards, three inmates reported the murderer, found to be Lugo’s boyfriend, Bryan Curry. Curry ended up being tried and found guilty of second-degree murder in March 2008.

In 2020, Attorney General Moody and FACS launched the statewide anonymous tipline **TIPS. In 2022, Crime Stoppers USA brought **TIPS national, meaning anyone in the country can dial **TIPS to be connected to the nearest Crime Stoppers office and make an anonymous tip.

To see digital copies of the Cold Case Homicide Deck of Cards, click here.

Matt McCarthy