Tulsa Family Continues Search For Answers 17 Years After Daughter's Death

Saturday, June 6th 2015, 9:04 pm
By: News On 6

A family is still searching for answers 17 after a west Tulsa teen was found dead.

But they're not just looking for justice in her case, they're hoping her memorial sheds light on other cold cases and encourages those who know something to come forward.

The payphone where investigators say Dena Dean made her last call before she died in 1998 is just down from where her parents held her memorial Saturday.

Dena's family and friends gathered at the Town West Shopping Center for the 17th year since her death.

"This was the parking lot that she was in, that she disappeared from," said Dena's mother, Diana.

On June 6th, 1998, Dena made her last phone call and then vanished. Five days later her body was found in a nearby wooded area.

At the time, the medical examiner could not determine the cause of death but ruled it a homicide. Since then there have been no arrests or suspects.

"The sad part is there are people are out there who knows what happened, they just don't want to get involved, and they need to think about that because it could be their loved one that they're trying to seek justice for," Diana said.

That's why Sergeant Kyle Hess and the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office set up shop outside the memorial Saturday, hoping someone would stop by with information about Dena's case or one of the 50 other cold cases in the county.

"We've got our crime scene van set up here and we can take their information, and take it back to detectives and start working on that lead," he said.

Dena's family said they want her case solved and justice for the other families who still don't have answers.

2/26/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Family Still Waiting For Justice For Murdered Daughter After 15 Years

“I hope that if they know something that they will feel free to come out here and sit down and talk to them and help out to try to get resolution to other cases," Diana said.

Dena's face sits among the others whose cases have never been solved; a reminder to the Deans that they're not alone.