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BOLO issued for suspect in Maggie Long case

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Park County Sheriff’s Office declines to confirm details

By Sal Christ

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The Park County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the department issued a “be on the lookout,” or BOLO, alert Thursday evening for a suspect in the death of 17-year-old Platte Canyon High School student Maggie Long, but declined to confirm details reported by several Denver TV news stations on the grounds that it would compromise the investigation.

“We did issue a BOLO, but it was not intended for public consumption,” said Undersheriff Dave Wohlers. “It was supposed to go out through a confidential law enforcement source. … I can’t confirm what (the news stations) are reporting – it’s really quite disruptive to our investigation. Because of the problems that has caused, we’re going to have to reconvene the task force and decide how information for a public clarification (on the BOLO) will be crafted.”

Thursday evening, KMGH-TV – Denver 7 – reported that the sheriff’s office was looking for “a man in his 20s with possible burn marks on his arms.” The station also reported that the suspect was armed and last seen driving a minivan.

Midday Friday, KCNC-TV – Denver’s CBS affiliate – reported further details, including identifying information about the van the suspect is alleged to be driving, the direction he was last seen driving, and information about firearms and ammunition the suspect is believed to be carrying.

While the Courier has seen at least part of the issued BOLO, it was unable to independently verify any of the details reported by KMGH and KCNC. 

Wohlers declined to confirm any details related to the BOLO and instead cautioned the public against taking the description “as solid gospel,” meaning that details in any investigation can change rapidly. He maintained that the department does not believe the community at-large is at risk, despite the details reported by broadcast networks.

“If we thought other people were in danger and there was somebody else identified, we would alert the community. Obviously, if somebody comes in contact with whoever is responsible, I’d call that more dangerous and more dangerous for law enforcement,” said Wohlers. “Again, if we thought the community was in immediate danger, we would alert the community to be on the lookout. We’re not in a position in the investigation yet to do that.”

Wohlers said he expects to make a public clarification about the BOLO on Monday.

The issuance of the BOLO came less than 12 hours after the sheriff’s office announced that the remains of Long were found late last week while law enforcement conducted an arson investigation at her home. Long was reported missing last Friday night after she failed to show up for a concert she helped organize at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey.             

Contact reporter Sal Christ at sal@evergreenco.com or at 303-350-1035.