Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw held a news conference Monday at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in Lakewood to update the public on the investigation into Maggie Long’s murder. McGraw reported several pieces of new information that have been uncovered as a result of the investigation. Long was deliberately burned alive in her house, and arson was likely used to try destroy evidence.
Long was murdered Dec. 1, 2017, at her place of residence in Bailey. The popular Platte Canyon High School student was 17 years old at the time of her death.
At least three male suspects are believed to have been involved in Long’s murder, which the Sheriff referred to as a “targeted attack.” The suspects spent a considerable amount of time at Long’s house on the day of the crime, and the suspects deliberately chose to take Long’s life. One or more of the suspects might have sustained physical injuries as a result of the fire.
The press conference was held in part to inform the public of progress being made in the case through collective efforts involving a task force consisting of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives along with the Park County Sheriff’s Office.
But more importantly, according to McGraw, the press conference will hopefully serve as an effective tool to solicit any and all information that might lead to the eventual apprehension of the parties responsible for the crime.
As part of that effort, McGraw announced the development of a new website that both provides and seeks new information on the case. The site, www.maggielongtaskforce.com, includes photos of Long, two sketches of possible suspects, three photos of vehicle types (not actual vehicles) believed to be related to the homicide, as well as photos of items (not actual items) that were similar to items taken from the residence by suspects.
In 2018, a single sketch of a suspect was released by the PCSO. At the press conference, the Sheriff released an additional sketch of a possible second suspect. McGraw divulged that the additional sketch surfaced as a direct result of eyewitness accounts. He also explained tips that initially might seem insignificant can often take on new significance as cases, and facts within those cases, unfold. McGraw said the task force is working on a third sketch of a possible suspect and that drawing will be forthcoming.
“We encourage you to explore the website and go to areas of interest that your friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers may have discussed,” McGraw said. “You can remain anonymous. Some of the website pages are interactive, and some provide the opportunity to leave tips. Every tip will be addressed, and no tip is considered unimportant.
“Please look at the items that were taken when Maggie Long was murdered. The suspects likely held on to these for a few days before attempting to discard them, sell them or give them to someone they trust.”
McGraw also announced that the reward for anyone providing information leading to the arrest and prosecution of any individual involved in Long’s homicide has been increased to $50,000.
When asked why he opted to release details of the case that will undoubtedly be disturbing to Long’s family and other community members, McGraw said his intent is to generate interest and motivate people to help out in eventually bringing the case to a favorable conclusion.
McGraw, who spent considerable time as a homicide detective in Florida, reported being extremely impressed by the federal and state entities currently investigating the case. He said he has been extensively briefed on all facets of the case since taking office just three weeks ago, and that he is encouraged by both the amount of work that has been done and the progress that work has yielded thus far. McGraw estimated that more than 30 investigators and analysts have contributed their time and expertise in an effort to solve the high-profile case.
The tight-knit community of Bailey was understandably shocked and saddened by Long’s murder, and many local residents have been outspoken regarding their desire to know more about the progress, or lack thereof, of the ongoing investigation. To that end, in addition to Monday’s press conference, a public meeting on the topic of the Long case was held Tuesday evening, Jan. 29, at Fitzsimmons Middle School in Bailey.