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Five years later, detectives have few good leads in Maggie Long murder case

Investigators think Maggie interrupted a group of people trying to rob her family home.

BAILEY, Colorado — Detective Sergeant Wendy Kipple said she just needs a whisper, a hint or any single clue to help her solve one Park County's most gruesome cold cases. 

Maggie Long, a high school senior, left Platte Canyon High School on Dec. 1, 2017 with plans to return for an evening concert she was helping organize. She wanted to pick up water and cookies for the audience. 

Long stopped at her family's home off County Road 43 where she was attacked and held captive before the house was set on fire, investigators said.

Thursday marked 5 years since Long was killed. To mark the day and try to get a break in the case, about half a dozen law enforcement officers who handed out flyers and stickers across Park County.

On each flyer, Maggie Long's smiling face beams under the notice of a $75,000 reward offered for information leading to the conviction of the person or people who killed her.

Credit: KUSA

"Somebody’s gotta know something," Kipple said. "I can’t believe that nothing has been said up to this point. Eventually somebody’s going to break."

"Even five years later, there’s no way to get used to this," Maggie's sister Connie Long said Thursday. "On this day it just kind of brings me back to where we were 5 years ago."

"I think it’s one of those shocks that just kind of comes and goes," her other sister Lynna Long said. "She had such high aspirations, so many different things she wanted to do with her life. And in so many ways we can continue to live our lives in honor of that."

The sisters asked for anyone with information about the crime to call the tip line and tell the task force set up to help solve her murder. "It’s just not right because she deserves justice," Connie Long said. 

The tip line number is 303-239-4243. Tips can also be submitted to maggie.long.tips@state.co.us. 

"Maggie deserves justice. She was an irreplaceable, innocent soul with a majestic presence. She brought a joy to our family, her friends, and her community that will never be forgotten," her family said in a statement released by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. 

In 2021, the FBI announced it was investigating her murder as a potential hate crime. The bureau did not provide an answer as to exactly why it made that designation. 

Investigators said they believe at least three men, and possibly a fourth suspect, were involved in a break-in. They stole jade figurines, a green safe, a 9 mm pistol, an AK-47-style rifle and 2,000 rounds of ammunition, investigators said. 

The men then set a fire that damaged the home along County Road 43 and burned Long alive, according to investigators. 

Several years ago, the FBI released sketches of four potential suspects. Detective Kipple said she doesn't put much credence in those drawings these days. 

"We're kind of backing off those," she said. 

But Park County's lone detective isn't backing off the case. She said she spends time working on it every single day.

"We are going to solve it," she said. "I'm not going to give up on it." 

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