Brittany Phillips

Maggie Zingman, pictured in August 2018, travels in a vehicle designed to draw attention to the 2004 slaying of her daughter Brittany Phillips in Tulsa.

STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World file

One year after police released a sketch of a man believed to have killed a Tulsa college student in 2004, the agency says he no longer is a suspect in the slaying.

Brittany Phillips was 18 when she was raped and strangled inside the apartment she moved into while attending Tulsa Community College. In 2017, a Tulsa cold case detective submitted DNA samples to a Virginia-based company that used the samples to create a composite sketch of the suspected killer.

Detective Eddie Majors said though the company’s report and image resulted in a large number of tips after being publicized in January 2018, he doesn’t believe the man was connected to the crime.

“We identified him through an investigation and interviewed him,” Majors said. “Through information we received from him and corroboration we got for his story, we are no longer looking at the suspect based on the forensic composite drawing that we released.

“It’s really frustrating, but we start over. ... The thing is we know now we’ve eliminated one piece of the puzzle.”

Phillips' mother said receiving the news was "as bad as being told Brittany had been murdered."

"This means the DNA profile that we have used for 15 years, develop from blood and semen at the crime scene, the blood and semen was not our killer," Zingman said in an email to Tulsa World. "It was found at her apartment because Brittany let this young man and her girlfriend sleep over."

She said police have not informed her about the alibi they believe makes clears the young man whose girlfriend was Phillips' friend. The development, in Zingman's eyes, means Tulsa Police should consider it like a new case because "everything has to be relooked at."

Editor's note: This story was edited after publication to include information from Phillips' mother, Maggie Zingman.

Featured video

Watch a masked bobwhite quail adopt 15 chicks he's never seen before

Read the story: Sutton Center's masked bobwhite quail 'foster dads' may prove key to species recovery