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Deck of cards renews hope of solving decades-old murder case

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(UPDATE: An arrest has been made in connection to this case. The details can be found here: Pawtucket police make arrest in 30-year-old cold case)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been more than 30 years since detectives first hunted for a the killer of a 10-year-old Pawtucket girl. Now, there is renewed hope Christine Cole’s murderer will be found.

Two days after Cole celebrated her 10th birthday, her mother asked her to leave their West Avenue home to get milk and clams for dinner.

“It was a freezing cold day,” Pawtucket Detective Susan Cormier recalled of January 6, 1988. “Temperatures were just about zero.”

Cormier said detectives were able to confirm through a store clerk that Cole had made it to the market where she bought the milk and some gumballs. Later, she walked to a now-closed seafood market to pick up the clams.

“That was the last time she was seen,” Cormier said.

Cormier said detectives scoured the state for Cole, hoping to find her alive.

After 54 days, a man walking his dog on a beach at Conimicut Point Park in Warwick noticed what he thought was a mannequin or doll in the sand.

“Sadly, that was little Christine Cole that had washed up onto the beach,” Cormier said.

To this day, Cormier said they have no leads on who could’ve killed Cole. But she hopes renewed interest in the case will unlock more answers.

Cole’s murder is one of several cold cases Cormier has worked on over the years.

In December, she spearheaded a project to print a deck of cards with the faces of cold case victims on each card. She and other detectives hope the cards will draw interest in the cases and uncover new leads.

Cole is the Queen of Hearts.

“It’s very personal to me,” Comier said. “I’m a mom. She’s a little girl. Her life was taken too soon.”

She hopes to solve every case, including Coles.

“There’s a lot more we can do with this.” Cormier said. “Testing evidence. Retesting evidence. Talking to more people. I’ve spoken to many people already but I’m going to continue with those interviews. This is a solvable case. We still have a lot to work with.”

Cormier hopes someone with information on Cole’s death, or any other cold cases, will come forward. Anyone who has any information regarding the cases should call 1-877-RI-SOLVE or visit Cormier’s Facebook Page, Cold Case RI.

More Stories: The Cold Case Cards »

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