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Tragedy pushes TSCO cold case sergeant to find justice for others

tressi mizell sister.jpg
Posted at 9:42 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 23:17:31-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Task Force does everything it can to solve murders. For one of its team members, solving those cases means something a little more.

“Amber was so kind and so gentle," Sgt. Tressi Mizell said. "And just a wonderful person and a wonderful friend to so many people.”

Mizell had just spent the weekend at the lake with her sister, Amber Rogers, in June 2004. A couple of days later on June 22, Amber was shot and killed in a bank robbery at First Fidelity Bank where she was a bank teller. It was Mizell's third week working in law enforcement.

“Living without her is difficult and you learn to do it it doesn’t ever get any easier," Mizell said. "But it does get easier to be able to go through your day.”

Now, Mizell is part of the Cold Case Task Force with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office where she is using her experience with her sister’s murder to relate to the victim’s families in a way most law enforcement officers can’t.

“It really affects how I can see things through their eyes," she said. "If you’ve never been through something like this, you don’t know the feelings that people go through. You don’t understand anger and the pain.”

Just last week, Mizell helped arrest Tommy Harris in connection with the death of Kim McVey, a case unsolved since 1992. Bringing McVey's family closer to something Mizell had soon after her sister’s death - answers.

“It is extremely rewarding to be able to put someone in jail who deserves to be in jail and to see these family members get to start going through the grieving process," she said.

Now, nearly 16 years after Amber’s death, Mizell said she doesn’t hold any hate in her heart for the two men convicted of killing her sister. She’s focused on remembering Amber for being a bright light and a good person.

“We continue going to the lake, we continue to hang out together and you make yourself until it’s fun again," she said. "You just have to continue on.”

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