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A Teen Left Her Job And Seemed To Vanish. Days Later, She Was Found Dead In A Field, But Her Killer Remains Free.

tulsa cold case
Source: Tulsa County Sheriff's Office; Unsplash

Oct. 12 2022, Published 2:23 p.m. ET

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A teen left her job at a market in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1998. She was never seen alive again. Days later, her remains were found in a field.

More than 20 years later, police still don’t know who killed her.

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Around 9 p.m. on June 6, 1998, 16-year-old Dena Ann Dean left her work at Marvins Food Store in the Town West Shopping Center in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. She was never heard from again.

Her car was found in the parking lot of the store, according to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

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About a week later, on June 12, her decomposed body was located in a field, near a pond about two miles north of the shopping center, according to the sheriff’s office.

Her death was ruled a homicide, though police have not released further details in the case.

In the decades following her death, police haven’t made an arrest in the case. Dean’s parents — Diana and Larry — continue to keep her memory alive. In 2021, they spoke to KWTV about their daughter and the hunt for the killer.

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"It does not get any easier. They say it does, but it doesn't,” Diana told the station. “They tore my family apart, and I want somebody arrested for it.”

Her parents said they still wake up in the middle of the night and expect their daughter to be there. After Dean went missing, her family found her car, but she was nowhere to be seen.

"We didn't get to see her. She laid for six days before she was found," Diana told KWTV. Then her dad added, “She just was daddy's little girl.”

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Larry said he did everything with his daughter, including racing, fishing and band competitions.

Those bonding activities ended that fateful night in 1998. While the case hasn’t been closed, police still hope to solve the cold case even two decades later.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (918) 596-5612.


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