In editing my novella, I've realized the irrelevancy of several subplots, deleting two of which has eliminated the need for three characters.
The road trip taken by my main character's mother and stepfather was mildly amusing at best, but without it - and the scenes of her mother berating Lieutenant Bates (kind of funny; imagine Beverley from The Goldbergs screaming at the police if one of her kids disappeared) - their sudden appearance at the denoument is just bizarre and unexplained. (My favorite teacher's "a student just used the word 'denoment'" senses are tingling. She was the first person who ever believed in me; hope I make her proud someday)
But with the exception of the first and last chapters, everything that happens in the story is told from their daughter's point of view. So out they go.
Lieutenant Bates got demoted from "occasional investigating scene guy" to "shows up in one chapter to kick off the plot guy", and his coworker whose name he could never remember (though he thought she looked like a Donna) was written out entirely.
This is new for me, erasing entire chunks of work I strained so hard to make perfect. Maybe a reminder not to stress too much on the first draft?