PARK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The family of a teen girl found dead after a suspicious fire at her home near Bailey is asking the community to help bring her killer to justice.
Maggie Long, 17, was last seen on Dec. 1 — the same day her family’s home caught fire.
The fire at the home at 3763 Park County Road 43 is being investigated as arson.
Initially, the Park County Sheriff’s Department said no human remains were found in the home. A week later, investigators announced Long’s remains had been discovered in the home and her death was being investigated as a homicide.
On Friday, police announced they were searching for a suspect — a white male in his 20s who may be heavily armed with weapons and ammunition. He may be driving a late model ’90s to 2000 light-colored minivan.
The driver may have suffered flash burns in the fire.
Investigators believe that gasoline was taken from the home, along with a large case, AK47, 2,000 rounds of ammunition for a 7.62 and 9mm Beretta. They consider the suspect armed and extremely dangerous.
On Saturday, a family friend shared a statement from the Long family on Facebook:
“The fear of death takes away the joy of living.”
Our beloved sister, daughter, granddaughter, cousin, niece, friend, and classmate, Maggie was a joy in all our lives. As many of you are aware, on the night of Friday, December 1, 2017 Maggie moved on from this world.
Our hearts are broken, and this loss has been especially significant knowing the impact that our Maggie had on this small mountain community. We thank everyone in Bailey as well as those in communities near and far that Maggie’s life has touched for their support and love shared.
Our family continues to work with Park County Sheriff’s Office and extended agencies; we want to thank them for their tremendous efforts. We are all committed to seeking justice for Maggie.
To the Bailey community, please report any suspicious vehicles, individuals or activities along County Road 43 in Bailey, CO on December 1, 2017 to the investigative tip line at: (303) 239-4243.
To those who have respected our privacy and will continue to respect our privacy as we mourn, we are grateful. In the coming days, we will have arrangements for a celebration of life for Maggie and will make announcements as those plans are finalized.
Thank you everyone for sharing your strength and kind thoughts with us,
The Long Family
Along the with statement, the friend said Long’s parents care about the Bailey community and “especially Maggie’s classmates,” and urged them to use the resources available as they grieve. She used the hashtags #BaileyStrong and #ColoradoCrisisServices.