EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Dimithy McMillan said his friend, Demetria Jordan, was a person who cared deeply for others.
“If Deedee was your friend, you would succeed [and] she was an angel,” he said while sharing stories of their time as close confidants and co-workers.
“I talked to her everyday…everyday. Now I can’t talk to her at all. None of us can talk to her at all,” he continued.
Demetria, or “Dee-Dee” as she was affectionately known by McMillan, was murdered in January by her longtime boyfriend who confessed to the crime in a Facebook live video.
Bernard Caldwell was arrested for first degree murder after Caldwell’s family members in Florida called the Edmond Police Department warning them about his behavior based on the video.
An affidavit detailed Caldwell in the Facebook live saying, “I just killed my best friend.”
“She’d help anybody [[and] we had to make her eat, make her take breaks…she was always taking care of people.
McMillan said that big heart that made her reluctant to leave the troubled relationship with Caldwell until it was too late.
“She was telling me how he said, ‘I think I’m losing you. And she said, Well, you’ve lost me. You then lost me. It’s been years. You’ve already lost me.’ he knew she meant it, which is why he went to extremes he did,” he said.
“She did love him. She just wanted him to be a better man [but] he’d rather kill her then be a better man. Now what sense does that make?,” he added.
“Love doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t physically hurt, it doesn’t mentally hurt, don’t stay,” he added.
Demetria’s death and countless others may reflect a frightening rise in domestic violence across the state, according to recently released data by the Violence Policy Center.
Oklahoma is now ranked number two in the nation for rates of women killed by men, according to a 2020 dataset.
Out of 66 female homicide victims, 40 were white, 16 were Black, 9 were American Indian or Alaskan Native, and 1 was of unknown race, though generally speaking, the number of Black women murdered by men is nearly three times as high as white women, according to the same study.
The CEO of Palomar OKC, Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center, which offers survivor driven care to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, child and elder abuse, said the center has seen more people walk through its doors.
“Last year, we saw more people at Palomar than ever before,” Hillary Burkholder, CEO of Palomar said in a previous statement to KFOR.
Palomar is a walk-in facility and in 2022 we served 5,409 unique clients, a 25% increase from 2021, according to a recently released annual report.
“ It’s clear that domestic violence and abuse continue to be an epidemic in our community. Palomar is honored to begin our sixth year of supporting survivors by bringing together community partners in one place to help victims and their families begin their journey of protection, hope, and healing. We are committed to being here for all victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, elder abuse, and human trafficking for as long as it takes while continuing to strive for a community free of violence, where safety and security are felt.”
Burkholder said domestic violence happens in every part of the city.
“Last year there were 35,990 911 related domestic calls. And those are only the people that were desperate enough to pick up the phone and call 911,” she added.
Through a collaboration with multiple partner agencies in the metro, Palomar offers services for victims seeking wraparound services such as emergency services, legal assistance, housing assistance, children’s sanctuary, holistic healing, offender accountability, and animal advocacy in one location.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, Palomar is open 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday and Oklahoma’s Safeline operates 24 hours a day and their phone number is 1.800.522.7233
For more information about Palomar, how to get involved, and the services they provide, visit www.palomarokc.org.