Richmond inmates receive cold case playing cards to generate new leads

Richmond City Sheriff Antionette Irving and Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith unveiled a new tool to crack cold cases - playing cards.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 3:11 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond City Sheriff Antionette Irving and Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith unveiled a new tool to crack cold cases - playing cards.

Each of the 52 cards features an unsolved homicide or death investigation with the victim’s name, picture and some details.

“The goal is to find whatever information we possibly can find so that we can bring closure to the particular case,” said Irving.

Irving says every inmate at the Richmond City Jail received a deck this week.

“People talk inside the jail and outside the jail,” said Sgt. James Foster, Richmond City Sheriff’s Office.

Foster’s 18-year-old is on one of those cards. His son was down at a mini-mart on Ladies Mile Road in April 2021. Those responsible are still unknown.

“Hopefully, someone will recognize someone not just in my son’s case but in any case to bring closure to someone,” said Foster.

If inmates want to report information, they can use a private tablet app. The sheriff says the program is done in several other states and has helped solve dozens of cold cases.

“We want to start with just one. If we can just get one case solved or bring some resolution, that’s a plus for us. But our goal is to get them all solved. As many as we can,” said Irving.

Smith says detectives made the selections based on investigative needs and hope to add more unsolved cases into the rotation.

“These are cases that we have been working on diligently. We haven’t forgotten the victims,” said Smith.

The sheriff hopes to hand decks out at events, too, so the public has them. They also want to do a version with missing people on them.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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