Cold case cards sold to inmates

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This playing card provides information on the unsolved murder of Sandra Ramos Cuadrado in 2005 in Naugatuck. It’s one of a new deck being distributed within the state's prison population to help solve cold cases. –CONTRIBUTED
This playing card provides information on the unsolved murder of Sandra Ramos-Cuadrado in 2005 in Naugatuck. It’s one of a new deck being distributed within the state’s prison population to help solve cold cases. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Investigators hope to solve some cold cases — including one from Naugatuck — after distributing playing cards within the state’s prison population.

The Chief State Attorney’s Office recently released a third edition of a deck that shows pictures of victims from cold case murders and missing persons from across the state.

Brief descriptions of the murders and the locations where they occurred are included on the cards, the first version of which has been in circulation for about four years. The decks will be sold to inmates serving time in the state prison system in the hopes of generating breaks in the cases.

The inmates purchase the cards, so the program pays for itself without relying on taxpayer dollars, according to the office.

The majority of the cards — 17 — stem from cold cases in Hartford. Another 13 were generated from cases in New Haven, and four are dedicated to Waterbury cases.

Highlighted in the deck is 50-year-old Sandra Ramos-Cuadrado, a mother who was found dead on Feb. 18, 2005 with knife wounds to her face and neck in her apartment at 70 Olive St. in Naugatuck.

Naugatuck police originally told the Republican-American they believed Ramos-Cuadrado knew her killer, but years later stopped saying that publicly. They have not released much information about the case since it happened, including whether they found a murder weapon, whether the killer forced entry or what kind of evidence they have. They have never arrested a killer, and the case has gone cold.

Ramos-Cuadrado, who lived alone, moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Connecticut in 1995. She was separated from her husband of 12 years, Robert Cuadrado, her second husband. She had three children and one grandchild. She worked as a staffing coordinator at a nursing agency in Newtown.

Police offered a $50,000 reward for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for Ramos-Cuadrado’s death.

Naugatuck police spokesman Lt. Bryan Cammarata said last week the department is still actively investigating the case in coordination with the state’s cold case unit. Cammarata did not go in depth about the investigative techniques being used, but said police are exhausting every lead and re-examining every piece of evidence they have.

“At this point, we have no new information to release,” he said.

So far, the playing cards have resulted in 470 tips about missing person cases and unsolved homicides, according to the office. Nine arrests have been made in connection with killings profiled in the decks.

“It is all about the victims and their families,” said interim Correction Commissioner Scott Semple in a statement about the cards. “The faces on these cards are someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, or child. Any tip, or lead, might be the missing piece to solving a case and bringing resolution to a victim’s loved ones.”

People can call (866) 623-8058 to provide information or send an email to cold.case@ct.gov. Regular mail can be sent to P.O. Box 962, Rocky Hill, CT 06067.