The Denver Federal Bureau of Investigation said that the Asian American woman’s death is now under probe as a hate crime.
The victim was identified as Maggie Long, 17.
“The FBI is committed to combating hate crimes and condemns violence directed toward any individual or group. We are grateful for the community’s support of Maggie’s family and their patience with the ongoing investigation,” Michael Schneider, Denver FBI Special Agent in Charge, said in a statement to ABC News. “The FBI continues to work with the Park County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and we ask anyone who has information about this murder to contact the FBI immediately.”
But the investigation bureau failed to identify the prejudice the suspects might have possessed. They defined hate crime as a traditional criminal violation covering factors of unfairness against a “race, religion, disability, ethnicity/national origin, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.”
The investigation on Long’s case came following the increase of anti-Asian crimes in the country. From 2019 to 2020 along, there had been a rise of around 150 percent in anti-Asian hate crimes across the US, as shown in a study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University.
The Park County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call to a house fire in Bailey, Colorado in the evening sometime in December 2017. There were reports of damages caused by people inside the residence.
The victim’s body was found after the fire was put off. According to the FBI, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office identified Long’s death as homicide.
The FBI, citing its ongoing probe, said that there had been a physical fracas between the suspects and the victim before the fire broke out.
The sheriff said the investigation points to three plaintiffs.
The investigation bureau said the suspects took away with them a Beretta handgun, a rifle, rounds of ammunition, a safe, and some jade figurines.
A $75, 000 reward was already gathered by the Long family and the FBI for anyone who can give information and help in the arrest of the suspects.