Families Come Together For 1st Tulsa Cold Case Day Of Caring
Families came together for the first Tulsa Cold Case Day of Caring Saturday.
The event was organized by Brittany Phillips' mother. Police say Phillips was raped and suffocated in her apartment 15 years ago. Her birthday would have been yesterday.
This was to start a communication network among murder victim families, the criminal justice system and the community.
Brittany's mother says it could also give a voice to them in the search for the killers of their loved ones.
In 2004, Brittany Phillips was going to college and living in a South Tulsa apartment when someone broke in, raped, and strangled her. It's been 15 years, and Brittany's killer hasn't been caught. Her case has gone cold.
Today, her mother, Maggie Zingman met with other murder victims families and the community for the first Tulsa Cold Case Day of Caring.
"Both to honor her, and mark it being her 15th year cold case," Zingman said.
Zingman has driven 240,000 miles across the U.S. to share her story, but she says obviously not everyone can do that. It's why it's important they have an outlet.
She says there are about 270 cold cases in Oklahoma.
"It's such an isolating life when you have a homicide in your family, and so the more you can connect with others, it give you energy to go on. I want to share that with others because it's what's kept me going," Zingman said.
She's had some help though. Lindsay Schraad made the pamplets and bracelets for the event.
"Whatever she needs, I try to be there for her," Schraad said.
Schraad also has a website to share cold case stories. It includes Brittany Phillips case, and the girl scout murders.
"I feel like it's a duty, the quote on the back of our shirts say the dead can't cry out for justice, so it's a duty of the living to do so for them, and that's how I feel," Schraad said.
It's something Zingman says has helped her heal in the last 15 years.
"I've found, and this is something I share with other homicide survivors, if you walk toward the loss, if you do things in honor of them, it really helps carry the pain, it doesn't make it go away, but it's different," Zingman said.
They've also developed a support group with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations. Families are able to learn about victim assistance -- and that's similar to what they hope to do here.