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Six Years After Colorado Teen Was Burned Alive When Walking In on Home Robbery, $75,000 Reward Offered
“Investigative efforts at the scene revealed a physical altercation took place between Long and her assailants before the fire started,” the FBI has said of Maggie Long's brutal homicide.
Six years after a Colorado teenager was burned alive when she walked in on a burglary at her home, investigators are still looking for answers.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced on December 1 — the anniversary of 17-year-old high school student Maggie Long being found murdered in her Bailey home in 2017 — that a $75,000 reward is being offered in the case.
“Our quest for justice for Maggie remains steadfast,” Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said in a statement on the six-year anniversary of her death. “As we’ve stated previously, someone has that key piece of information that will lead to the arrest of those responsible for Maggie’s murder. It will take one person with one piece of information that will help our investigative team bring resolution to this case for Maggie, her family and the Bailey community.”
What happened to Maggie Long?
On December 1, 2017, Long went home to grab a change of clothes and cookies for the audience attending a concert at Platte Canyon High School that the teen was managing. Fire and rescue personnel were dispatched to a house fire on County Road 43 in Bailey at around 7 p.m., according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
“It was reported in a 9-1-1 call that people were inside the residence causing damage,” the FBI stated in a "seeking information" flier. “At least one male was on the property. After the fire was extinguished at the residence, Maggie Long's remains were discovered by fire rescue personnel." Her death was later ruled a homicide by the El Paso County Coroner's Office.
“Investigative efforts at the scene revealed a physical altercation took place between Long and her assailants before the fire started,” the bureau continued. “The suspects stole a Beretta handgun, an AK-47-style rifle, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, a green safe and jade figurines.”
Police have yet to make an arrest in the case, though they previously released composite sketches of three different suspects.
Maggie Long's case reclassified as hate crime
At the time of the incident, investigators classified Long's murder as a crime of opportunity, considering that a robbery was involved. However, in 2021, the case was reclassified as a hate crime.
The FBI defines hate crimes as criminal offenses motivated by bias against the victim's race, religion, disability, ethnicity/national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.
Long’s sisters, Connie and Lynna Long, told NBC affiliate station KUSA in 2021 that they were initially surprised to hear of the reclassification.
"We just haven’t experienced that type of violence firsthand, but knowing what happened to Maggie and just the nature of the violence, it is something that should be taken into consideration," Connie said. "Her race, her gender, you know, all of those are contributing factors for why these perpetrators thought it was okay to do that to her.”
The sisters said at the time that they hoped that the shift in the case would bring new information to the surface.
“Circumstances change and maybe now the people who may have known something in December 2017 are now in a place where they can, you know, speak to their truth," Lynna told KUSA.
Special Agent Michael Schneider of the FBI’s Denver Field Office previously told Oxygen.com that the FBI was grateful for the patience and support from Long’s family and the surrounding community.
“The FBI is committed to combating hate crimes and condemns violence directed toward any individual or group,” Schneider said.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has asked that anyone with information in the case call the Maggie Long Task Force tip line at (303) 239-4243 or email: email@example.com. Those who wish to remain anonymous can do so.