Case of Teen Burned Alive in Home Looked at as Hate Crime

Maggie Long, 17, was purposefully set on fire and burned alive in 2017
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2021 4:03 PM CDT
Teen's Grisly 2017 Death Now Looked at as a Hate Crime
This poster released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Colorado homicide victim Maggie Long, left, and composite sketches of at least three men they were believed involved in her 2017 death.   (FBI via AP)

The FBI has revealed that it is investigating the December 2017 death of an Asian American teenager in Colorado as a possible hate crime. It's a grisly case in which local authorities said 17-year-old Maggie Long was purposefully set on fire and burned alive in her family’s mountain community home. Long’s death was ruled a homicide, and authorities later released composite sketches of at least three men they believed were involved in her death, reports the AP. No arrests have been made. The FBI did not provide any information about why agents are looking at the possibility of a hate crime, though sister Connie Long tells the New York Times an investigator told her the move was not made based on any new development but was a tactical decision that will free up for more resources to put to the case.

Long’s body was found inside her family’s home in Bailey, some 45 miles southwest of Denver. A fire had broken out following a report of a disturbance. Investigators believe there was altercation between Long and her attackers before the fire started. A Beretta handgun, an AK-47-style rifle, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, a safe, and jade figurines were stolen from the home. Her parents owned two Chinese restaurants and a liquor store in the area, and Long had gone home to get items she needed to bring to a high school concert. She never showed. Sister Lynna Long said she hoped the shift in the investigation’s focus would encourage people to reconsider interactions they may have had around the time her sister was killed and if anyone expressed bias toward Asian Americans. "This is an angle that wasn’t looked into in the past, and at this point, it is no stone left unturned."

(More hate crime stories.)

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