She was murdered nine years ago. Her family hopes a deck of cards will find the killer
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IDAHO FALLS — Stephanie Eldredge was a caring mother of three children who suddenly vanished from her apartment on Holbrook Drive on Aug. 20, 2007.
Eldredge’s baby, cell phone, car keys, purse and shoes were left behind and police believed foul play was involved.
Three years later, on Apr. 23, 2010, Stephanie’s remains were found in a shallow grave in the foothills east of Idaho Falls.
“Her remains were so depleted that they couldn’t gather enough forensic evidence to actually determine even the cause of death much less the identity of the people responsible,” Dale Burns, Eldredge’s grandfather, said in an interview with EastIdahoNews.com.
Eldredge’s family thinks about her constantly and now they’re hoping a new idea will help find Stephanie’s killer.
It’s a deck of playing cards featuring cold cases in Idaho. On each card is printed a different unsolved homicide, missing person, unidentified remains or a wanted criminal.
Crystal Douglas, the founder of East Idaho Cold Cases, came up with the idea after learning cold case playing cards were being distributed among inmates in other states.
“The hope is to elicit new tips from the inmate population,” Douglas said. “We know inmates like to talk about each others crimes – sometimes brag about each others crimes – and they pass the day playing cards.”
Douglas spent $2,000 of her own money to pay for the cards. The Idaho Department of Corrections contributed around $5,000. Every state prison will distribute the decks and Douglas it working with individual county jails for distribution.
“There’s a lot of chatter that comes from the prison system,” Burns said. “If anybody would know who committed crimes, it would probably be the inmates. To have something like this handed out in the prison system – it’s a win-win situation.”
Douglas plans to distribute decks to families of victims featured on the cards. She anticipates another edition featuring more cold cases in the near future.
If you’d like to donate to Idaho cold case card project, you can send donations to Bonneville/Idaho Falls Crime Stoppers at 310 Elm St. Idaho Falls, ID 83402. Donations must indicate “cold case cards.”
If you have information on any unsolved crime, call 1-844-TIP-4040. You can remain anonymous.
CORRECTION: The original version of this story stated Eldredge had four children. That was a mistake. She was the mother of three children. EastIdahoNews.com apologizes for the error.