The death of 17-year-old Maggie Long is now being investigated as a potential hate crime. In 2017, Long was purposefully set on fire and burned alive in her family home in Colorado.
Long was reported missing on Dec. 1, 2017 after she did not show up to a concert at her high school. That same night, her remains were found in her family home.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that they are looking into the death of Long as a “hate crime matter,” according to a statement by the FBI. Long’s death was ruled a homicide, and authorities later revealed composite sketches of three men that are suspected to be involved in her death. No arrests have yet been made in the case, according to The Denver Post.
Investigators initially believed Long’s murder was a crime of opportunity. Investigators theorized that a physical altercation took place between the Long, and her assailants before the fire started. Authorities believed the fire was started to conceal the physical altercation and robbery, according to People Magazine.
Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said in a statement that the FBI investigating the case will allow more resources to be put on the case. McGraw stated that he is not aware of specific evidence that lead to the change in the investigation into who killed Long. There is a 75,000 dollar reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case, according to 9News.
“I think – for me, now that there’s been enough time to analyze and seek a motive – that looking at it from a hate crime perspective is truly worthy,” Lynna Long, Maggie’s mother, told The Denver Channel.
Long’s parents are Chinese, and they immigrated to the United States where they opened up restaurants in the Bailey, CO community. Maggie’s parents were born in a Vietnamese refugee camp, according to The Denver Channel.
A Beretta handgun, AK-47 rifle, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, a safe and jade figurines were stolen from the Long home on the night of the murder, authorities revealed.
The FBI hate crime investigation into the murder of Long as a possible hate crime comes after an uptick of attacks that have targeted Asian-Americans nationwide since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2019, according to The Denver Post.
The Long family has recently contributed additional funds to increase the reward to 75,000 dollars for information leading to an arrest in the case. Anyone with information about the murder of Maggie Long can submit an anonymous tip by contacting the FBI at 1-800-225-5324, or submit a tip online here.