Maggie Long was discovered burned to death inside her home in Bailey, Colorado, on December 1, 2017, when she was just 17 years old. Investigators in Park County have released new details about the case, including that three potential suspects are accused of intentionally setting the teenager on fire.
The Task Force investigating the murder, comprised of members of the Park County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI Denver Division, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and the ATF, launched a new website aimed at encouraging potential witnesses to come forward.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Sheriff: Maggie Long Was Working at a Concert at her High School the Night She Died; She Briefly Went Home to Get Cookies For the Crowd But Never Returned
Maggie Long was a student at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado. The town is located about 50 miles southwest of Denver.
Sheriff Tom McGraw of the Park County Sheriff’s Office explained during a news conference on January 28, 2019, that Long was supposed to be at her school for an event the night she was killed. He explained that Long had been in charge of the VIP section for a concert.
Long told her friends that she was going home to get more cookies and water to pass out to the audience. She told them she’d be right back. But she never returned to the school and was reported missing.
2. Sheriff: Three Suspects Spent a ‘Significant Amount of Time’ in the House & Murdered Maggie Long By Setting Her on Fire
Sheriff Tom McGraw explained that after more than a year of investigating, which has included interviews with hundreds of potential witnesses, the Maggie Long Task Force has come to the conclusion that three men were involved in Long’s murder.
Investigators believe the three suspects spent a “significant amount of time” in the house with Long on December 1, 2017. They say the suspects “deliberately chose to take her life” by burning her alive.
The Maggie Long Task Force website explains that “investigative efforts at the scene revealed a physical altercation took place between Maggie and her assailants before the fire started. Law enforcement believe the intent of the fire was to conceal actions of these assailants, such as the physical altercation and subsequent robbery.”
A witness called 911 after seeing flames coming from the house. Firefighters and emergency responders put out the fire, and subsequently discovered Long’s badly damaged body. The case was initially classified as arson, before investigators realized it had been a homicide.
3. The Suspects Stole Weapons & a Safe From Maggie Long’s Home
The three suspects took several items from the Long house. The Park County sheriff explained that investigators believe the suspect targeted the home for a robbery. Killing Maggie Long was likely not their original goal. He added that it’s unclear whether the suspects personally knew the teenager.
The suspects took an AK-47 rifle, a 9mm Beretta handgun, 200 rounds of ammunition and a green safe. Some of Long’s belongings were also discovered missing.
Sheriff McGraw encouraged potential witnesses to be on the look out for these items, or to think back on whether they may have seen them. Investigators have never uncovered the stolen items. The sheriff said it’s likely the suspects discarded the stolen items after a few days, in order to avoid detection. The sheriff added that they believe one of the suspects may have been injured during the course of the crime; potential witnesses should keep that in mind as they try to recall whether they saw anyone who could have been involved.
Investigators also included pictures of the types of vehicles the suspects may have been driving on the flier embedded above.
4. The Task Force is Offering a $50,000 Reward for Information Leading to an Arrest
The new Maggie Long Task Force website was set up in order to help spread information about the case and encourage witnesses to come forward. Sheriff McGraw stressed that witnesses can submit tips anonymously.
He added that people should come forward even if they are unsure whether their information is relevant or not. The smallest detail could end up being very important in identifying the three suspected killers.
A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest of those responsible for Long’s murder. No arrests have been made thus far.
5. Maggie Long Enjoyed Acting & the Venue Theater Put Together a Video Tribute That Included Past Performances
Maggie Long was involved in theater. The Venue Theatre Company in Colorado put together a tribute video highlighing some of Long’s performances. The video is embedded above. One of the first clips you’ll see is when Long played Cogsworth in “Beauty and the Beast.” The video also includes baby photos of Long.
Long’s friends and family have honored the teenager’s memory with community outreach. On December 17, 2018, friends handed out socks and sandwiches to the homeless to mark Long’s birthday.