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Tulsa County Sheriff Announces Closure Of Six Cold Cases

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Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado at a Thursday press conference announcing the closure of six cold case homicides.

Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado announced Thursday the closure of six cold case homicides dating back decades. 

Five of the cases solved by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Task Force, an all-volunteer team of investigators, involved suspects who had since died. 

The sixth case resulted in the Thursday arrest of Tommy Edward Harris in Osage County. Police say Harris has previously confessed to killing Kim McVey in 1992, leaving her body behind a shed in Owasso.

"At the end of the day, justice, sometimes slow-moving, still happens," Regalado said at a press conference Thursday.

Regalado said the task force should be commended for their work in solving all six cases, noting that one of their members, Joanne Emmons, died in April of COVID-19. 

"I think that sends a clear message of several things," Regalado said, flanked by members of the task force. "One, that justice doesn't stop. It's because of men and women like these up here who are willing to take the extra step to go out and provide the closure and/or arrest of individuals who have committed murders in Tulsa County."

Regalado said that closure is one of the most important things law enforcement can provide to loved ones of murder victims, even in cases where the suspect can not be arrested because they've since died.

"Although an arrest hasn't occurred in these, what is extremely important, and probably the most pivotal thing in a cold case investigation, is providing closure," Regalado said. "These are cases that have gone years, 30-plus or more, and have left their families and friends wondering what happened."

Regalado said McVey's family had been notified but were living out-of-state and not able to attend the press conference.

The announcement comes a week after the Tulsa Police Department made an arrest in a cold case of their own, the 2011 murder of gas station clerk Peggy Gaytan.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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