PARK COUNTY, Colo. — As investigators continue searching for a suspect in the killing of Maggie Long, loved ones gathered at Platte Canyon High School on Sunday to remember the life lost.
Long was killed in early December amid mysterious circumstances. Sunday would’ve been her 18th birthday.
The ceremony honoring the teen started with singing from members of Long’s choir.
Dozens watched as loved ones and teachers paid tribute to the teen. The gymnasium was full. Officials were forced to open an overflow room to accommodate the crowd.
“Maggie was always smiling,” a speaker recalled.
Nearly everyone who spoke talked about Long’s smile, and her dedication to school and extracurricular activities.
From speech and debate to theater and the student council — just to name a few — Long was involved in many activities at Platte Canyon High School, according to friends.
“She truly loved everybody she came in contact with and saw the beauty of each of them,” a teacher said.
Long was first reported missing on Dec. 1. Investigators later admitted her remains were found at her home that had caught fire. Arson is suspected.
From the beginning, Park County sheriff’s deputies have stayed tight-lipped on their investigation. A gag order was initially applied to the case.
The secretiveness has sparked frustrations and questions in the community as to what investigators know and if more transparency could lead to more helpful tips from the public.
Those yearning for justice are also grieving the loss of on a girl who made a big impact on Bailey.
One of Long’s teachers encouraged those in attendance on Sunday to make the same impact.
“I challenge everyone here, myself included, to let your inner Maggie Long lose,” the teacher said. “Get involved in more things. Do more for your school. Do more for your community.”
A suspect description has not been released. Investigators are still asking for information surrounding her death.
Anyone who saw anything suspicious along Park County Road 43 on Dec. 1 is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 303-239-4243.