A mother's nationwide crusade to find daughter's killer

By: Conroy Delouche Email
By: Conroy Delouche Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A woman's long search for her daughter's killer came through Tennessee on Wednesday.

Brittany Phillips was raped and suffocated inside her Tulsa, Oklahoma, apartment seven years ago. She was buried on her 19th birthday.

Maggie Zingman, Phillips's mother, is on a nationwide crusade for answers.

Maggie Zingman has driven a purple caravan more than 50,000 miles across the country.

She's traveled to more than 40 states, and told her story to thousands. All in a quest to try and find Brittany's killer.

Zingman has passed out thousands of these purple fliers to strangers on hundreds of streets.

"In many ways it keeps her memory alive," said Zingman.

Her car is wrapped with pictures of Brittany, which attracts attention and questions.

In 2004, police found DNA from Brittany's killer on her body Since then, more than 2,000 people have been examined, but no matches.

She isn't just going on this mission for herself. She's trying to change legislation to get stronger DNA testing and rape sentencing laws.

"If we can protect other parents from going through this pain, then I feel like in a way Brittany's murder is at least having a purpose," said Zingman.

She says fighting for her daughter, seeing her smile and her eyes everyday, brings comfort. But in her eyes, Brittany will forever be 19.

"To not see her graduate, to not see her have a child, or be there when I'm old. That's a hole inside of me that I'm never gonna fill," said Zingman.

After passing out dozens of fliers, she's back in the purple caravan, heading to the next town. She's hoping that Brittany's killer will be brought to justice.


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