DNA In Tulsa Teen's Murder Case Does Not Belong To Killer
TULSA, Oklahoma - The mother of Brittany Phillips says DNA found at the scene does not belong to the killer as investigators believed.
In 2004, Brittany was living in a South Tulsa apartment and going to college when someone broke in, raped, and strangled her. According to police, during the 2004 investigation evidence was collected from the scene and used to create a composite sketch of what the suspect may look like.
However, police have confirmed that the evidence did not point to the correct suspect after all.
"With the DNA evidence investigators were able to obtain a Forensic Composite Drawing of what the suspect would have looked like. With that information and further investigation, we were able to identify a subject. Through further investigation, it was determined that the subject was not involved in the death of Brittany Phillips. Based on this new development the Forensic Composite drawing does not portray what the suspect looks like," said Tulsa Police in a statement.
Maggie Zingman, Brittany's mother says she’s disappointed by the recent setback in the 2004 cold case.
No one has ever been arrested for raping and strangling Brittany and police long believed D-N-A found in Brittany's apartment belonged to the killer, but, now, they know, that is not the case.
Zingman said she's at the lowest she's ever been but is determined to find her daughter's killer.
A lab used the DNA to create a composite sketch of what the suspect may have looked like and officers got dozens of tips. One tip led them to a Green Country man and his DNA was a match.
"I thought my God, after 15 years, we're finally going to start a new phase of this case," said Zingman.
Police questioned that man and say he stayed the night at Brittany's apartment with one of her friends, which is why his DNA was there. Police say their investigation cleared that man.
"One of the first reactions I felt was, I'm going to die before it's solved," said Zingman.
Tulsa Cold Case Detective Eddie Majors says he and the entire homicide squad, also, took the news hard. He said he's very discouraged in the case.
He says they'll look at past suspects, interview people and keep asking for tips. He said this news isn't all bad.
"We can now eliminate this guy. He's not our main focus at this point, we've got to look elsewhere," said Majors.
Zingman has driven more than 200,000 miles to 48 states with pictures of Brittany on her car, to bring awareness to the case, generate tips, and try to get some national media attention.
"I can't let myself stay there. I can't," said Zingman when asked about how she was feeling.
As discouraging as this setback is, all the people who work on this case say they will not give up until it's solved.