Alongside the family of a murder victim whose case has gone unsolved for 18 years, Tulsa Co. Sheriff Vic Regalado announced the creation of a new Cold Case Task Force.
“We know that we are responsible and owe them a debt of closure,” said Sheriff Vic Regalado.
Sheriff Regalado made the announcement on the 18th anniversary of the murder of Dena Dean, whose body was found in a field a week after she disappeared from the Town West shopping center.
"It gives me renewed hope. I feel it's kind of been stale for the last few years. I know that they've been working on it, but I still think the fresh eyes is gonna help," said Dena's mother Diana.
Dean's case is one of more than 50 cold cases Regalado's new task force will re-examine over the next three to four months.
Joining this task force are homicide detectives from the northeast Oklahoma area, as well as retired Tulsa police homicide Sgt. Mike Huff and Jeff Felton, an investigator from the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office.
The group will pore over dozens of case files to determine which evidence needs to be revisited, which witnesses need to reinterviewed and whether new technologies can play a role in redefining old evidence.
"I've tried to stay strong the whole time because vengeance is not ours to get, but justice is and she definitely deserves justice," said Dean.
The task force will also utilize new technology. Ground zero according to Regalado, the Tulsa County Jail. The inmate cell phone initiative that started before Regalado's election will give inmates the opportunity to speak up on the crimes, which could lead to post-conviction relief.
Members of the Tulsa Co. Sheriff's Office will be stationed at Town West Monday until 3 p.m. to field tips and gather information from the public related to any cold cases.