Family Joins Tulsa County Sheriff's Office To Plead For Cold Case Tips

Wednesday, June 6th 2012, 10:20 pm
By: News On 6

Fourteen years ago, Tulsa teenager Dena Dean was murdered.

She was not into drugs or in a gang, she was a sophomore in high school, an honors student and a band member.

But on the 14th anniversary of her death, Dean's parents don't know who killed her, how or why, and they are hoping this is the year they finally get answers.

Dean's mother said she saw a shooting star Tuesday night and was hoping that was a good omen.

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

A video shows Dena as a baby and a little girl, the apple of her parents' eyes, the joy of their lives.

She was a young girl with such promise, whose life touched many in her 16 years.

Now she's been dead nearly as long as she was alive.

"She deserved to live," Diana Dean said. "He didn't have the right to take her life. She deserves justice."

On June 6, 1998, Dena left Marvin's store at the Town West Shopping Center after telling her mom she was going to meet a boy to talk.

She was never heard from again, and a week later, her body was found in a field not far from there and her car left in the parking lot.

That is the same parking lot where Dena's family and friends marked the anniversary of her murder by grilling up a bunch of food, so they can share a meal and their memories.

It's also where the Sheriff's office has set up its command post in an effort to generate tips, no matter how irrelevant the information may seem.

"That may be the crucial piece of evidence we need to finish that out," said Sgt. Shannon Clark, Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

6/5/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Sheriff's Office To Solicit Tips In Cold Case

The family believes Dena's killer was the boy she went to meet that day, but even with new fingerprint and DNA technology, there has never been enough evidence to make an arrest.

"I'm not gonna give up, Diana Dean said. "I can't. Nobody else is going to fight for her."

They know answers won't bring back their little girl, but, it will bring them a measure of peace to know the truth and to know a killer is off the streets.

Until that time, their nightmare lives on and they can only beg for help.

"Please, please call the sheriff's office," Diana Dean said. "Please help us get our answers."

Anyone who is now ready to talk about this murder, can call the Tulsa County Sheriff's office at 918-596-8681.

The Dean's said they'd love to meet next year on this date, not to plea for help, but to celebrate an arrest.