Officals hope playing cards bring attention to cold cases

Officals hope playing cards bring attention to cold cases

Oregon investigators are hoping a recently released deck of playing cards detailing various murders and missing persons cases will help solve 52 cold cases and bring closure to families.

Jackson County cold cases are featured prominently, with 17 cards in the deck. The cases are focused in Southern Oregon and the Willamette Valley.

The deck is sponsored by Crimestoppers and Walmart. Each deck runs $5, with proceeds going to help solve cold cases.

"We can hope that someone sees these cards and it leads to solving one of these cases," Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said.

Agencies across the country have printed similar decks. The cards are distributed to Oregon jail and prison inmates, who might have some information about the cases, according to The Associated Press.

The Jackson County cold case cards include:

  • Five of hearts: Russell Eugene Johnson, 35, who was found shot to death in his home on Dec. 2, 1985. The suspects shot him from outside the residence and entered to steal marijuana inside.
  • Seven of hearts: Sheron Kaye Cheney, 50, whose body was found in 2008 on Howard Prairie Road. She was last seen camping at Hyatt Lake.
  • 10 of hearts: Chester Edward Nye, 14, who went missing on July, 12, 1978. Nye was camping with his church group at the middle fork of the Rogue River when he disappeared. He said he was going fishing and never returned.
  • Ace of spades: Celia Darlene Barnes, 53, who was last seen hiking near Sardine Creek Road near Gold Hill in 2002.
  • Five of spades: Roger Paul Johansen, 50, whose body was found in the charred remains of his print shop on Table Rock Road in Central Point. Investigators believe he was a homicide victim.
  • Seven of spades: Troy Dean Carney, 46, whose body was found tucked in a sleeping back with a bullet in his head along the Bear Creek Greenway near Central Point.
  • Nine of spades: Calvin Jay Pringle, 17, who disappeared in April 1997 on his way to either Southern California or Nevada.
  • Jack of spades — Timothy Lee Keays, 32, who disappeared in 1989. He was last seen on the campus of Southern Oregon University.
  • Ace of diamonds: Robert Michael Bobo, 39, who was last seen Oct. 3, 1998 camping near Prospect near the beginning of hunting season.
  • Seven of diamonds: Dennis Scott Cole, 22, whose body was found along Highway 66 in Ashland in 1977. He died from a gunshot wound to the head.
  • Eight of diamonds: Koni Lynn Berry, 30, who was stabbed multiple times and dumped on Anderson Butte Road in Talent. Investigators believe her killer might have fled to Mexico.
  • Nine of diamonds: Cheryl Kay Seyedin, 43, who was last seen Nov. 17, 1998 at her home on Old Highway 99 in Ashland.
  • Five of clubs: David Edwin Lewis, 47, whose body was found in Sept. 2008 in the burned remains of a house outside Ashland.
  • Eight of clubs: Julio Bonilla-Cardenas, 20, who was found murdered near a transient camp in Medford in 1992.
  • Jack of clubs: Darrell Allen Lutzen, 48, who was last seen in 2008. His car was later found on a Bureau of Land Management road of Anderson Butte Road near Talent.
  • Queen of clubs: Daniel Joseph Hilkey, 40, who was reported missing on Jan. 22, 1985 from his Gold Hill home. He was the subject of an IRS investigation and was known to have large quantities of money inside his home.
  • King of clubs: Howard Ben Dearman, 52, who was reported missing in 1989 from Medford. Investigators believe he changed his identity and fled the area or is the victim of a homicide.

To inquire about the availability of these cards call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 541-776-6800.

If you have any information about these cases, call the sheriff's tip line at 541-774-8333.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or email

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