'Cold Case' playing cards could help track down fugitives

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- It's no trick. Law enforcement is hoping a deck of playing cards can help put some Arizona fugitives behind bars. It's a new approach to tracking down some of the Valley's most wanted.

It's been 13 years since Alfonso McCoy Jr. and Debbie Gomez were shot and killed at Debbie's Phoenix home.

"This person, my son," says Alfonso's mom, Muriel McCoy. "He meant a lot to a lot of people.They didn't just take away a son, but a son, a father, an uncle, a friend, so they took away a lot."

Not a day goes by that Muriel doesn't think of her son and long for justice. "I'll be 70 next month and I'd love to see this happen within my lifetime," she says.

Flipping through a deck of Phoenix Cold Case playing cards, Muriel comes across the Queen of Clubs, which features Alfonso and Debbie, along with details of their case.

These cards are being handed out by Silent Witness to inmates in Maricopa County Jails. The playing cards feature 52 phoenix cold cases.

"The cornerstone of Silent Witness success is that bad guys love to talk, and they love to play cards in jail," said Sgt. Darren Burch of Silent Witness. "Now they're playing cards, they're talking, and information is being passed around."

The playing cards were first rolled out a couple of months ago, and already, some new leads on some old cases have rolled in.

"Many times our tipsters, who remain anonymous, are part of the criminal element because they run around the same circles so are aware of information," Burch said.

Muriel remains optimistic that it's just a matter of time before the right card reaches the right person

"That would mean everything to me if they know who did it," she says. "Speak up; this will give me and my family some type of closure."