| Media Advisory
November 8, 2007
For More Information
Contact: Heather Smith or Kristen Perezluha
FDLE Office of Public Information
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday the arrest of Bryan Curry, 36, for the alleged murder of 34-year-old Ingrid Lugo on Dec. 13, 2004. Curry’s arrest comes as the second case to be solved as a result of the statewide Cold Case Playing Cards initiative. The initiative is a joint effort between the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Department of Corrections, Attorney General’s Office and the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers to help crack Florida’s unsolved homicide and missing person cases by distributing playing cards to inmates in the state’s prisons. Lugo’s card was the six of spades in the first edition deck.
“Tips from the cards continue to come in, and our law enforcement partners are aggressively working those leads,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Ms. Lugo. We believe there will be more families who are ultimately provided with answers through the statewide playing cards.”
The Lugo case was cracked when an inmate at the Cross City Correctional Institution in Cross City, Fla. saw the cold case playing card featuring Lugo and contacted Crime Stoppers to report Curry’s involvement. Curry recently served time at Cross City Correctional Institution for forgery charges. Detectives from Manatee County Sheriff’s Office located Curry and arrested him Tuesday at his residence in Riverview. Lugo was found dead in a retention pond on Dec. 13, 2004 in Bradenton. An autopsy showed she was strangled to death.
According to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Curry was an ex-boyfriend of Lugo and detectives considered him a suspect early in the investigation but didn’t have enough probable cause to make an arrest.
In late July 2007, approximately 100,000 decks of cold case playing cards were distributed to 93,000 inmates in the state’s 129 prisons, enabling law enforcement with the possibility of reaching thousands of potential sources who may be able to provide critical information to help resolve an unsolved crime.
“This is excellent. When a cold case is solved and a violent criminal is taken off the street, it directly impacts public safety,” said Department of Corrections Secretary James McDonough. “This case won’t be the last one solved. If you’re a criminal on the lam, we are going to get you.”
Printing for the initial two different decks of cards, which profiled 104 unsolved cases from across Florida, was funded by the Florida Attorney General’s Crime Stoppers Trust Fund. The toll-free number of each case’s local Crime Stoppers chapter can be found on each card and every inmate has been given access to a phone in order to contact Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers has received 66 tips from the first decks of cards. FDLE is currently working with Crime Stoppers and Florida law enforcement to develop a third edition deck of cards to feature 52 new unsolved cold cases. The release of Florida’s statewide playing cards in July received worldwide attention, and multiple other local and state jurisdictions have reported adopting the program.
”This is an innovative and proactive approach towards solving cases that might otherwise never come to a close,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum. “I am pleased to offer the support of the Attorney General’s Office and look forward to many more successful developments as a result of this initiative.”
"We couldn't be more pleased with the speed in which these cases are being solved,” said Steve Rowland, President of the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers. "The Crime Stoppers system offers two critical opportunities traditionally unavailable the inmates - the ability to provide information truly anonymously, and the option of collecting a reward if they remain anonymous. We're so proud to be partners in this program."
To learn more about the Cold Case Playing Cards initiative and view the 104 cases from the two statewide decks, please visit www.fdle.state.fl.us/OSI/unsolved.