OSBI uses playing cards to help solve cold cases from across the state

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is partnering with the Department of Corrections to launch a new program aimed at solving unsolved cold cases in our state.

"Initially, they thought she had just fallen, and hit her head and died. But, it was after a few minutes that they realized she had actually been murdered," said Maria Wilson.

Nine years ago, Wilson learned the tragic news about her mother. Unfortunately, the case was never solved.

"These are homicide cases, unidentified persons cases and also missing persons cases," said Stan Florence, director of OSBI.

The cold cases span decades, from 1978 to 2013.

Now, what authorities know about each of the 52 cold cases can be found inside a deck of playing cards.

Officials are now sharing the deck of cards around the state in hopes of finding someone with information that could solve a case.

OSBI officials said, due to Oklahoma's large prison population, they know some of the individuals may be incarcerated. They're partnering with DOC for that reason, and the cards are already available to prisoners.

"Across the nation, at least 17 other states have launched something similar to this. There are others that are looking at this like we are," Florence said.

They're hoping the deck will hopefully help people like Wilson get some answers and closure.

"You don't do the crimes that are on these cards and not continue to commit crimes. They're hurting people, and they need to be removed from society and put in the DOC where they belong so they can't hurt anybody else," Wilson said.

OSBI is already choosing more cases for the second deck. The deck will include OSBI, Norman PD, Oklahoma City PD and Tulsa PD cold cases.


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