Tulsa Family Hopes For Break In 18-Year-Old Cold Case Of Murdered Daughter

Sunday, February 26th 2017, 7:52 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa family is still looking for answers nearly 20 years after Dena Dean was murdered.

To celebrate Dena's 35th birthday, family and friends released balloons Sunday in her memory at the floral haven cemetery where Dean is buried.

The Tulsa County cold case task force is actively working on the Dean case. 

8/18/2016 Related Story: TCSO Task Force Making Progress On 18-Year-Old Cold Case

Family members say they've waited a long time for answers and hopes investigators will one day soon find the person responsible.

"This is a time for us to celebrate Dena."

This moment of celebration is just that, a moment out of years and years of sadness and mystery.

"The family is pulling together and friends we're gonna make it work this year," said Dena's father, Larry Dean. "We're going to get answers." 

At just 16 years old, Dena Dean died in June of 1998. 

All this time from then to now, figuring out who ended her life has been a mystery. 

One that Dean's family is desperate to solve. 

"But this warms your heart to be able to look at this, it does, to look back and be able to see her smile."

Each year the family holds vigil to remember Dena's death and life. 

Having so many people show up in love and support, it gives her parents Larry and Diana a little more strength to keep going.

"All these kids won't let me give up won't let me forget," Larry Dean said. 

"It makes me feel good because i know she's not only missed by us but she's missed by people she grew up with and went to school with," said her mother, Diana Dean.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office established the cold case task force last summer. 

That's when they reopened Dena's case. 

Dena's mom said she believes investigators are getting somewhere. 

And she has more faith now that the suspect will be caught.

"It's to keep her memory alive but it's also to keep her name out there for the public to know this is an unsolved case we are still looking for answers," Diana Dean said. 

Until then, they celebrate the life she had.

Since sheriff's office established the Cold Case Task Force, they have hinted that they're getting closer to making an arrest.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them. 

2/26/2009 Related Story: Dena Dean's Family Waits For Justice