Mother Searches For Justice On Anniversary Of Her Daughter's Death

Sunday, October 4th 2020, 10:15 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

TULSA, Okla. -

An Oklahoma mother is searching for justice and her daughter's killer, 16 years after the unsolved murder in Tulsa. 

Investigators said Brittany Phillips was raped and suffocated in 2004 in a Tulsa apartment. Last year, Tulsa police learned the DNA sample in their possession was a false lead.

Brittany Philips would have turned 35 years old Sunday, which was also the day she was buried 16 years ago. Philips' mother, Maggie Zingman, visited her daughter's grave for the first time in months and said she tried not to think about her daughter's murder, but envisioned the person Brittany would have been.  

"She would've had her Ph.D. and been researching cancer,” Zingman said. “She would have been a mom. It's hard sometimes because I can't believe it's another year that's passed.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zingman hasn't visited the grave in months and didn't have the usual large crowd at the cemetery to remember Brittany's burial.

She has also had to pause her cross-country "Caravan to Catch a Killer" tours. 

"I'm alone with my echoes of loss, but doing my caravans and working with people, traveling down here to Tulsa and getting the story out has always made it a little bit less,” Zingman said. “But this year, I felt like I was frozen in time.”  

Zingman also remembers the devastating announcement made by Tulsa police in 2019: that the DNA sample they believed was the killer's for nearly 15 years was a false lead. 

"It was almost as bad as if I've been told she had died,” Zingman said. “I realize that I have to live in spite of her murder and because of her murder.”

Zingman said she is still determined to find her daughter's killer. She is starting her tours back up in November and working to establish a reward fund to help motivate a surge in tips and investigation leads.

"I'm not quitting,” Zingman said. “I always ask Brittany if there's some way you can give me insight, and I always tell her I love her and that I'm going to keep doing this until the day I die. That's all I can do.” 

You can find information on how to donate to Zingman's reward fund as well as more information on Brittany's case on her website by clicking here.