Gag order on missing Bailey girl case deepens mystery

BAILEY, Colo. -- The question of where is 17-year-old Maggie Long is on just about everyone’s minds in the small mountain community of Bailey.

Long has been missing since Friday night, the same night her house caught fire. Arson is suspected.

She was last seen at Platte Canyon High School before she was believed to have returned home.

On Monday, the Park County Sheriff’s Office said the district attorney requested a gag order be issued in the case.

That order was signed by a judge, according to a sheriff's spokesman. There have been no reports of an arrest, leading to curiosity as to why there is a gag order.

“We hope it’s not a tragedy,” Bailey resident Mary Jane Lawhon said. “We hope it’s something that’s quickly resolved to the benefit of everyone.”

The Platte Canyon High School student, who friends said was well liked and active on the speech team, was reported missing after not returning to a concert at the school.

The suspected arson broke out at her home and Long's car was found there.

“It’s really unfortunate,” family acquaintance Drew Folger said. “I really hope that Maggie is safe. I hope that the family is getting the support that they need.”

The family is known to people in Bailey for owning businesses in town, including a Chinese restaurant in downtown Bailey and a Thai cafe and liquor store off Highway 285.

The liquor store was the only one of the family businesses open Monday.

An employee at the store said the past few days have been very emotional for the family.

No search parties have been organized. Residents in Bailey are trying to stay hopeful even as they recall a heartbreaking case from more than 10 years ago.

“We’ve had one tragedy with a teenage girl in this city and we don’t want another one,” Lawhon said.

Emily Keyes was was killed during a hostage situation at Platte Canyon High School in 2006.

The school is offering support services for students and staff worried about Long.

Anyone with information is asked to call 303-239-4243.