Tragedy has touched the family of fallen Hattiesburg Police Officer Benjamin J. Deen for the second time in six months.
Melah Deen, 13, daughter of Benjamin J. Deen and his wife, Robin Deen of Sumrall, died Friday night, according to Allen Murray, president of the Hattiesburg Fraternal Order of Police.
The family has not released any information about the cause of death or funeral arrangements for Melah Deen. Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
In addition to Melah's mother, survivors include her grandparents, Mary Ellen and Dan Deen of Hattiesburg; and her brother, Walker Deen of Sumrall.
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"I cannot fathom losing the life of a child, and this child is special to us because of her relation to Officer Deen," Murray said. "We as a community are really taking this loss to heart because we as police officers are extended family of the Deens and are sad to see such a loss."
Benjamin J. Deen, 34, was killed on May 9, along with Officer Liquori Tate, 25, during a traffic stop on East Fourth and Bouie streets near downtown.
Nine people have been arrested in connection with the killings, including Marvin Banks of Hattiesburg, who has been charged with two counts of capital murder.
A six-year veteran of the force who also was a K-9 officer, Benjamin J. Deen was named HPD's Officer of the Year in 2012.