PARK COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — FBI agents and Park County sheriff’s deputies are considering the killing of Maggie Long as a possible hate crime, according to the Park County Sheriff’s Office.
The teen was killed in December of 2017 in the mountain community of Bailey. No arrests have been made in the case. More than three years later, the surprise announcement brings a new focus into the killing of 17-year-old Maggie Long, whose body was found burned in her home.
“We have seen in Colorado, there’s just a great relationship that the FBI has with state and local authorities, and they’re often called in to assist when there is a bias-motivated crime or hate crime that takes place,” said Scott Levin, director of the Mountain States Region of the Anti-Defamation League.
Levin said that assistance is made possible under the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Junior Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
“Under the federal act, it also provides that when these violent offenses take place because of someone’s race, color, religion or national origin, it can include a violent act where there’s a fire or an incendiary device,” he said.
Levin is not specifically involved in the Long case. However, he said the extra level of FBI involvement can serve as a big boost to smaller agencies investigating complicated crimes.
“Of course, having the full power weight and investigative resources of the federal government is very helpful,” Levin said.
County deputies and the FBI said they have followed up on numerous leads. Now, investigators are actively working to rule out hate. The Long family was one of a few Asian families in the area. They said they felt welcome in the community.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers alerted the FBI that a previous Maggie Long task force website seeking tips is no longer up and running. The FBI thanked FOX31 for bringing that to its attention. The bureau says it is working on a solution.
Meanwhile, any tips can be reported to tips.fbi.gov or 1-800-CALL-FBI. The original Seeking Information poster is available at https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/maggie-long.