'Cold Case Playing Cards' leads to identification of woman's remains
Minnesota's "Cold Case Deck" finally paid off. The state's Bureau of Apprehension created a deck of playing cards highlighting unsolved cases. Sure enough it finally led to the identification of one woman's remains who had been missing since 1982.
A person looking at the cards online recognized the "Jane Doe" facial reconstruction as a girl he grew up with and who disappeared when he was 10. The remains were later confirmed to be those of Deana Patnode, of Inver Grove Heights.
The Ramsey County medical examiner ruled Patnode's death a homicide and the investigation has been reopened.
The Cold Case Playing Cards were distributed to jails and prisons in Minnesota last year, but the tipster saw the image online. The deck has 52 unsolved homicides, missing persons, and unidentified remains cases. You can view the playing cards here.
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Patnode was last seen Oct. 26, 1982, walking from the Buck Board bar on Concord Boulevard in South St. Paul to her home in Inver Grove Heights. She was 23.
Seven years later, mushroom hunters in Wabasha County found her skeletal remains in a wooded median of U.S. 61 south of Kellogg. The Wabasha County city is about 80 miles southeast of the Twin Cities.
At the time, there wasn't enough evidence to make a positive identification. A forensic artist in the early 1990s created a facial reconstruction out of clay, and a photo of the model was used on the playing card.
Authorities contacted Husby in December at her home in Spencer, Iowa. The results from DNA samples she gave weren't finalized until a few weeks ago.