The unsolved murder of an Asian American teenager burned alive in her Colorado home in 2017 is now being investigated as a hate crime, it was revealed Tuesday.
The FBI confirmed that it was looking at the death of 17-year-old Maggie Long as a hate crime, according to CBS4 Denver.
Authorities have been looking for at least three suspects they say stole from Long, then lit her on fire after a struggle.
Park County sheriff’s deputies responded to Long’s house in Bailey on Dec. 1, 2017, after a 911 call said there were people in the house causing damage, the FBI said in a posting on its website.
Long’s remains were found after the blaze that had been set was extinguished, and a coroner later ruled her death a homicide. Investigators said there had been an altercation between Long and those who killed her before they torched the place, the posting said.
The suspects had snagged from the house a Beretta handgun, AK-47 style rife, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, a safe and jade figurines, authorities said.
No arrests have been made even though the family announced a $75,000 reward in December, according to 9News.
Authorities previously speculated that Long walked in on a robbery in progress after she left Platte Canyon High School, ABC 7 Denver reported. The three people suspected in the case may have changed appearances or moved from the area since the killing, the TV station said.
A friend of Long’s told the station that it would help to know more about what happened to Long, even if investigators didn’t catch her killers.
“I know that knowing who did it, catching who did it, isn’t going to bring her back,” Broderick Hartman said.
“But just knowing something, I feel like, could bring some peace of mind to the community, to our friend group, and most importantly to her family.”
It wasn’t clear why the killing was being looked at as a hate crime, but Long’s two sisters told the Associated Press they didn’t experience discrimination in the community.
Lynna Long encouraged people to reconsider interactions with people they had around the time of her sister’s killing that may have implied an anti-Asian bias.
“This is an angle that wasn’t looked into in the past, and at this point, it is no stone left unturned,” Lynna Long said.
“Looking at the extent of violence in this crime, that is certainly an angle to look more closely into.”
With Post wires