By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The family of a teenaged murder victim hopes to spark new interest in a case that's gone cold.
It was early summer 10 and a half years ago when Dena Dean was found murdered in west Tulsa. Thursday was her birthday and she would have been 27 years old. Diana Dean marks her daughter's birthday at the cemetery, preferring to remember it, instead of the day she was murdered.
"I sit and wonder where she would be in life right now, what she would be doing, what she would have pursued after high school," said Dean's mother, Diana Dean.
The Dean family has learned a lot about waiting. They waited for Dena to come home one night, waited six days for her body to be found, and they've waited ever since for justice.
"I will fight for my daughter's rights as long as I have breath to fight," said Dean's mother, Diana Dean.
Now, they have new hope for their fight, as the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office looks into new technology to build a case.
"We'll never give up. We'll never go away. We'll take advantage of every lead we get and follow up on every new technique we can use and we'll keep going over the facts that we have," said Tulsa County Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Frazier.
Sgt. Frazier believes the case can be solved.
Investigators have gone back to interviews done in the days while Dena was still missing and gone back over physical evidence from the field where her body was found. Investigators believe new fingerprint techniques and new DNA testing can reveal new facts.
"We're also looking at our physical evidence. We have some specific pieces of evidence from the scene that were collected and we're doing research on new testing to see what can be done with those," said Tulsa County Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Frazier.
Diana Dean often visits her daughter's grave. She hopes to one day come here with some answers.
"We still don't have anybody that has been arrested, and we don't really have a cause of death," said Dean's mother, Diana Dean.
The cause of death was never determined because of the condition of the body but the medical examiner did conclude it was a homicide.
The sheriff's office believes the killer is still in the area and is still hiding the truth about what happened from family and friends. But, they also believe more than one person knows what happened and might be ready to tell the truth.