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3 suspects sought in Maggie Long case

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By Deborah Swearingen

There are now at least three suspects in the murder of 17-year-old Maggie Long, according to new information released by the Park County Sheriff’s Office at a Jan. 28 press conference. 

Newly-elected Sheriff Tom McGraw provided a wealth of new information on the case in an attempt to rekindle interest and ultimately receive new tips to help solve the homicide case. The press conference was conducted at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in Lakewood.

In addition to the release of a new sketch and a new number of suspects, McGraw said Long was burned alive in the targeted attack at her home off County Road 43 in Bailey. 

“Contrary to preliminary examinations, the task force investigation has determined that these suspects spent a significant amount of time in the house with Maggie on Dec. 1, 2017, and they deliberately chose to take her life,” McGraw said. 

While he did confirm the attack was targeted – something investigators with the Maggie Long Task Force announced earlier in 2018 – McGraw declined to share more information in that regard, including whether the task force believes Long knew the men who killed her. 

“We can’t say that right now. I don’t know the answer to that question. It’s a possibility, but we don’t know that answer,” he said.

However, he did note that investigators believe at least one of the suspects may have been injured in the fire as well.

In addition to releasing more information about the case, McGraw announced a new website, where the public can gather information and submit tips anonymously. To do so, visit www.MaggieLongTaskForce.com. There are new billboards with information about the website in Denver and Colorado Springs.

No tip is considered unimportant, and the Park County Sheriff’s Office encourages the public to “trust your instinct” and report any suspicious activity. 

Further, the award for information leading to an arrest has been increased to $50,000, and McGraw hosted a town hall meeting on Jan. 29 at Fitzsimmons Middle School in Bailey to share information with the public. 

Background

Long was initially reported missing on Dec. 1, 2017, when she failed to show up for a concert she helped organize at Platte Canyon High School.

“She went home that day to get more cookies and water for the audience. (She) told her friends, ‘I’ll be right back.’ She was never seen again,” McGraw said.

Her body was identified about a week after being found inside her home. Investigators later said they believed the Long family home was targeted. On Dec. 1 — the night Long was murdered — her family’s home was set on fire and a number of items, including an AK-47 rifle, a Beretta 9mm handgun, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, a green safe and some jade figurines, were stolen. These items have yet to be found, according to McGraw. 

The investigative task force working the case is comprised of local, state and federal resources, including individuals from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Prior to the fire, investigators believe a physical altercation broke out between Long and the men who ultimately took her life. Law enforcement believe the fire was started to hide the evidence of the altercation and subsequent robbery.

Long, a 17-year-old senior at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, was active in extracurricular activities and at the Venue Theatre in Conifer. She was known for being a prankster and loved to tell corny jokes and take silly selfies. 

“She was just full of life and humor and quirky jokes,” said Lauren Hunt, executive director at the Venue, in a prior interview with the Courier. “There is not a person that can ever remember her saying anything bad or mean about anyone. She was just delightful to be around.”