Homicide victims remembered by friends and family

Family and friends of homicide victims place ornaments with the names and pictures of their loved ones on Trees of Remembrance. (Clemmer/KTUL)

The trees were heavily adorned with ornaments -- symbols of love that also evoked shock, given that each one represents a life that was stolen.

"I mean it really breaks my heart that we have to keep adding trees and more trees, and more trees based on the fact that we are having more and more victims," said former Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris.

The DA's Office held a remembrance ceremony Wednesday to honor victims of violent crimes in the area. The event began with two trees, but it now requires more than half a dozen.

"We seek justice, and we seek accountability because of the great worth of these humans," Harris said.

Rebecca Castaldi's aunt came to the event to remember her niece, a victim of domestic violence.

"Rebecca was a wonderful person," she said. "I miss her so much."

Wes Westcott was killed in 2014. His 9-year-old daughter remembers him fondly.

"He was very nice, and every time I came over to his house he would take me to the zoo," she said.

But while both of those homicides have been solved, Larry Dean still waits for justice in the loss of his daughter. Dena Dean was murdered 19 years ago. Despite the long wait, he's optimistic the cold case will soon get its big break.

"They have come up with a lot of new leads, and hopefully, we'll have answers within the week," he said. "I think we're getting that close."

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