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- Jan 12, 2010 4:29 AM Cold-case playing cards help put a name to a victim's face
Playing cards with the pictures of missing persons and murder victims will be given to inmates and families around Minnesota, with hopes of solving some of the state’s 52 cold cases.
The Minnesota Departments of Corrections and Public Safety worked with local and county law enforcement agencies to create the deck of cold case playing cards.
The cards highlight 52 unsolved homicide, missing person and unidentified remains cases. Each card features a photograph of the victim, information about the case and information about submitting a tip about the case.
A deck of cards will be given to Inmates at state prisons and county jails, as well as to victims' families.
“Distributing these cards to thousands of inmates at jails and correctional facilities in Minnesota exposes cold cases to people that may have knowledge about them,” Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion said. “The tips generated by these cold case cards will provide an excellent source of information to help law enforcement solve crimes and bring justice to the families.”
Corrections officials learned about the playing card idea from a similar program in Florida.
It had been more than 20 years since Lynn Broas had heard anything about his sister’s 1969 murder when Nicollet County Chief Deputy Karl Jensen contacted him this spring.
There was no new information about why Peggy Broas, 17, disappeared after leaving her parents’ home at 238 Wheeler Ave. for a baby-sitting job on Aug. 9, 1969. And Jensen didn’t have any new leads about the person who left Peggy’s body in a sweet corn field north of the city after killing her with a blow to the head.
But Jensen did offer Lynn Broas some hope. Jensen wanted to include Peggy’s case in a deck of playing cards the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Department of Corrections is delivering to the hands of prison and jail inmates throughout the state.
“We had quite a conversation,” Broas said. “We talked about how it was a cold case and a lot of time had passed and that people might want to clear their conscience.”
Jensen’s father, Richard, was a deputy when Peggy Broas disappeared. He was in the corn field off Nicollet County Road 13, near what is now North Mankato’s Benson Park, the day her body was found a month after she disappeared, Karl Jensen said. Karl was only 3 years old at the time, but he remembers hearing his father describe the case.
“He talked about it over the years,” Jensen said. “It was a field he spent a lot of time in. He went to his grave wanting to have the case solved.
“We’re hoping to get any kind of leads we can track down.”
Peggy’s card, the nine of spades, includes her picture, the day she was last seen alive, the day her body was found and that she died as a result of blunt force trauma.
Her parents last saw her on the Saturday afternoon when she left for the baby-sitting job in Mankato, according to a story in The Free Press. They expected her to be back Sunday morning. She wasn’t, so the family assumed she was still working and went ahead with plans to go to St. James.
They suspected something was wrong when she still hadn’t returned Sunday night. Police investigated, receiving reports she had been seen in Mankato and at the Nicollet County Fair in St. Peter Sunday. Those initial reports weren’t confirmed.
“It was very tough,” said Lynn Broas, who was 15 years old at the time. “It got to be a real stressful situation.”
Nicollet County Sheriff’s Department investigators focused on the Timm farm north of North Mankato after a skull was found in a ditch there. Deputies initially suspected the skull belonged to a male and weren’t sure if there was a body to be found.
They were in the area when Roger Timm was harvesting the corn on Saturday, Sept. 13, and told him to look for anything suspicious.
“They didn’t tell us what they were looking for,” said Janet Timm, Roger’s sister-in-law. “He was in the combine and came back saying he found something. It was a shock to him.”
Everyone was “on edge” because the skull had been found, Janet Timm said. The body of another girl, 14-year-old Sandra Meinke of Webster, had been found in a wooded area north of Montgomery on Thursday, Sept. 11, 1969.
The Meinke case was later solved and a man was sentenced to 30 years in prison, Lynn Broas said. Jensen said investigators have never been able to link that man to the murder of Peggy Broas.
“They did a lot of leg work on that one and there was no connection,” Jensen said.
Including Peggy’s case in the cold case card deck has been hard for her mother, Lynn Broas said, because, “It brings up old memories of her.” But he’s hoping the card will bring in new leads and, eventually, a conviction.
The Sheriff’s Department already has received one lead, which is being checked out, Jensen said. A similar effort in Florida already has solved two cold cases there.
Janell Rasmussen, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension spokeswoman, said at total of 15,000 decks of cold case playing cards were made. The state’s prisons received 10,000 decks and the remaining 5,000 were sent to jails, law enforcement and the families of the victims.
The 52 cases that were included were trimmed from between 75 and 80 suggested by law enforcement departments across the state, Rasmussen said. The cases most likely to be solved were selected. The victims’ families were required to sign releases.
“It gives them a little extra hope,” Rasmussen said. “They know that law enforcement is still looking at their case.”
Discovered on May 30, 1980 in Blue Earth, Faribault County, Minnesota. She was a victim of homicide Estimated date of death was 3 - 7 days prior to discovery
The victim's body was found in a drainage ditch on Interstate 90 near the Bricelyn Exit.
The perpertrator, Robert Leroy Nelson, was an on-duty Minnesota State Patrol trooper who lured the apparent hitchhiker and confessed to the crime nine years later.
Nelson, currently serving a life sentence in Texas in connection with brutal sexual assaults on other victims and his own children, admitted to the murder and under hypnosis provided authorities with some details about the victim, including tossing her black purse into a nearby grain storage facility. The purse was never found.
He described her as wearing a T-shirt, blue jeans, hooded sweatshirt, Army fatigue jacket and carrying a black leather purse and possibly wearing a gold ring with a pearl and small diamond inset.
He further revealed that prior to the victim's death she had talked about the Milwaukee, WI area and thought she may have been traveling to Oregon or Idaho.If you have any information about this case please contact:
Faribault County Sheriff's Department
Or Click Here For More Info>>
The parents of a pregnant Indiana teen are asking the public for help in solving the shooting death of their daughter.
Chavelle Body, 15, was shot late December 4, 2008 in Gary while she was walking home from a friend's house with an ex-boyfriend.
Body was shot several times and died at the scene. Her parents say she was four-months pregnant.
Antonio Love died four days after he was gunned down by the same shooters who killed his friend, Chavelle Body.
Body's parents say they believe Love was the intended target.
"She didn't do drugs," said Sharon Miller, the victim's mother. "I don't know. If anybody knows anything that happened to my daughter, please let us know."
No arrests have been made.
Police say they are continuing their investigation.
Anyone with information about either victim can call the coroner's office at 755-3265 or Detective Sgt. William Fazekas at 881-1210.
Who I'd like to meet:
- Status: Single
- Zodiac Sign: Virgo