BAILEY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Federal Bureau of Investigations announced Tuesday it is investigating the death of Maggie Long as a hate crime.
In December of 2017, 17-year-old Long was found dead in her home days after it was set on fire. The fire was declared an arson and Long’s death was ruled a homicide.
It has been more than three years since Long’s body was found burned in her home and many questions have been left unanswered. There have been a number of leads, but so far no arrests.
Looking into the murder as a possible hate crime could help bring in additional resources.
“Having that extra manpower will help us go in different directions. It’s an option we have never explored before, but we’re looking at now to see if it is a real possibility,” said Park County Sheriff Thomas McGraw.
The residence, located in a rural area, had been burglarized. The Long family is welcoming new investigative efforts.
“It’s an angle we have not considered before, and at this point, we have no problem looking into that lens, if it means it will bring more leads,” said Maggie’s sister, Connie.
There have been a number of composite sketches of persons of interest.
The Park County sheriff and the FBI say they’ve been following lead after lead. Now they want they want to rule out hate, although there have been no signs of it here.
“We have not seen that there was any sort of racial issues with the family,” said McGraw.
The Long family was well known in Bailey. They were one of a few Asian families in this mountain community where they felt welcome.
“From our experience, growing up in Bailey, we have not experienced any overt racism. We haven’t experienced any hate crime. But there’s always undertone. There’s always that consideration of our race because that’s what its like being a minority in the U.S.,” said Connie.
The murder of Maggie Long broke this town’s heart.
Investigators say who ever killed Maggie has either told someone or will tell someone. The truth, they say, will surface.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact the FBI or the Park County Sheriff’s Office at 303-239-4243.
Here’s a timeline following Long’s disappearance:
- December 1, 2017: Maggie Long went missing. Her home was set on fire.
- December 4, 2017: Judge signs a gag order following fire at Long’s home
- December 7, 2017: Maggie Long’s body was discovered in her burned home. Her death was ruled a homicide.
- January 18, 2018: Park County Sheriff’s Office announces $15,000 reward for information
- May 4, 2018: Sketch released of person possibly connected to Maggie Long’s death
- May 18, 2018: Investigators say Maggie Long’s home was targeted
- June 8, 2018: Investigators look into case in Missouri similar to Maggie Long’s
- December 15, 2018: Theater group raises money for Maggie Long scholarship
- April 2, 2019: Sketch of third suspect in Maggie Long homicide released
- September 23, 2019: Increase in tips reported in Maggie Long case
- November 27, 2019: FBI asks for more help in Maggie Long’s death
- December 20, 2019: Loved ones come together to live out Maggie Long’s wishes to give back
- May 18, 2021: FBI confirms Maggie Long’s death is being investigated as a hate crime