Pawtucket police hope new leads in cold cases are in the cards

Pawtucket police released a deck of cards featuring cold cases statewide. (WJAR)

Could something as simple as a card game help crack cold cases?

The Pawtucket Police Department on Tuesday announced a new program that features selling decks of playing cards to inmates through the commissary at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

Each card features a photo and description from someone who is either a murder victim or missing person, whose case has gone unsolved.

One of the cards features Carl Seebeck, who was murdered in Pawtucket on his way to work in 2008.

"I wouldn't wish this on anybody, for their family, it's something that's horrifying, you relive it," said Kristen Butler, Seebeck’s daughter.

"I believe it's going to generate in all these cases something that can be helpful," said Seebeck’s brother, John Seebeck, a now retired Pawtucket police captain.

The program was spearheaded by Pawtucket Police Detective Sue Cormier, who received federal funding to have the decks of cards made, and invited departments across Rhode Island to participate.

The first deck includes cases submitted by detectives in 19 cities and towns.

The cards will be the only ones available for inmates to purchase through the Department of Corrections Commissary.

"Sometimes, they may have had a conversation with another inmate years ago or someone out on the street before they were incarcerated. They may know something and may be willing to meet with us or phone in a tip," said Cormier. "It's a long time and around the holidays, it's emotional."

The daughter of Cynthia McKenna, who was murdered in North Providence in 2007, is hopeful about the new program.

"After a while, you lose hope and you think you might not have any answers, so I can't thank (Cormier) enough for doing this project," said Jaclyn McKenna.

The oldest case in the deck is the 1947 murder of Rita Bouchard, who is one of 13 Pawtucket cases featured on the cards.

"You've waited a long time for answers and you have my word that I will continue to work hard on these cases as will the other investigators to get justice for your loved ones," said Cormier, addressing families of victims featured on the cards.

"We put these cases together in the hopes even if we solved one case this year it will be great achievement for us,” said Col. Tina Goncalves of the Pawtucket Police Department.

Anyone who has information about any unsolved crime in Rhode Island is urged to call 1-877-RI-SOLVE.

For more information on the cold case playing cards, click here.

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