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Platte Canyon High School senior reported missing

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By Deborah Swearingen and Sal Christ

OTHER STORIES:
BOLO isssued for suspect in Maggie Long case:
 http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/bolo-issued-suspect-maggie-long-case

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Remains of missing PCHS student identified: http://www.canyoncourier.com/
content/remains-missing-platte-canyon-student-identified

The Park County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Saturday morning it is searching for Maggie Long, a Platte Canyon High School senior who was reported missing Friday evening.

Family and friends first became suspicious when Long, a 17-year-old Bailey resident, didn’t show up to a concert at Platte Canyon High School that she helped organize.

Social media posts suggested there was a fire near Long’s home in Bailey on Friday. Park County Undersheriff Dave Wohlers confirmed the Sheriff’s Office received word of a fire in a residential area off County Road 43 but couldn’t say for certain if the two were related.

“It’s under investigation as we speak,” he said.

At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener confirmed that the department is investigating a crime scene off of County Road 43 involving arson, but declined to say whether the investigation is connected to Long's disappearance. While Wegener also declined to specify whether a body had been found, he said both the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the 11th Judicial District Attorney's Office are assisting with the investigation.

Platte Canyon Superintendent Brenda Krage said in an e-mail to parents Saturday that the district shares the community's concern for Long and is prepared to offer support for students and staff when classes resume on Monday. Krage's e-mail also directed community members to the crisis hotline at Colorado Crisis Services, which offers crisis services in-person, over the phone and by text message.

While a formal statement on the investigation was expected Sunday morning, Wegener told the Courier he was unable to release further information because the investigation was still in process. A Facebook post from the Sheriff's Office at 7:50 a.m. stated that, "Due to the serious nature of this investigation, we ask that you keep the Long family in your prayers. We are not able to release any further information at this time." 

Wegener said he was uncertain when he'd be able to release more information. 

A second e-mail from Krage was sent to parents Sunday evening, reiterating the district's commitment of support to students, staff and families affected by Long's disappearance.

"As you are most likely aware, our community is dealing with a situation of a missing student," she wrote. "Of course, we are all hoping for the best. At this time, we have no further information to share. Please be assured that starting tomorrow morning, we will have support resources available for students and staff. ... I know this is a difficult time for everyone, but together we will get through this."

Classes at all Platte Canyon schools will be in session Dec. 4.

Timeline of events

The Sheriff’s Office first learned of Long’s disappearance Friday night when information began circulating online. According to Wohlers, there were several inquiries on Saturday, as well.

The Sheriff's Office updated its Facebook feed Sunday evening.

"We are sorry we are unable to reveal more information," the Sheriff's Office said Sunday night. The post was made at 7:45 p.m. "This is an arson investigation, and we don't believe there is a risk to the public. We continue to ask for prayers for the Long family."

According to a post on My Mountain Town, an online forum for the mountain community, Long is a member of Platte Canyon’s Speech Club and is actively involved with the Venue Theatre in Conifer.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Park County Sheriff’s Office dispatch line at 719-836-4121, option 5.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Reporter Sal Christ can be reached at sal@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1035.