It was a cold December Friday night, the first to be exact. The moon was as full as it has ever been, at least that’s what it seemed. The local high school was putting on a concert. Since there really isn’t much to do in this small town, especially on a Friday night, the kids who were attending were excited to be able to let their hair down and do some dancing. The concession stands were busy with students purchasing snack foods and drinks.
One of the young organizers of the concert was running a concession stand and forgot something at her home. She told her fellow workers she’d be right back. She jumped into her car and headed back home. Home was on a ranch which sits back from the road. A smart student who was on the speech team, was in the drama club, preparing for the school Christmas production and along with other school activities, her music was most likely playing loud from the iPod she had plugged into her car stereo. The only lights available on that dark road leading to her home was the full moon and her headlights.
(Speculating here:) As she approached her house, she noticed a light colored mini van parked in the driveway. She knew it wasn’t her parents, they were busy running the restaurant they owned in town. She knew it wasn’t her brother because she had left him at the school listening to the concert. She knew it wasn’t her sister because she was away at school. Maybe it was one of the ranch hands? Without hesitating, she entered her home only to find out it was a stranger robbing their house. What happened then only God knows.
Her friends thought it odd when she didn’t return to the concert and this is when they became concerned. When the police were called, they went to her house, to find it ablaze and found her car in the driveway, but no sign of Maggie. The fire department was able to put out the fire before it spread. But the police were closed mouth about the whole incident. They even got a judge to place a gag order on the case. Did they know who this person was? Did they not want him to get away?
For a week, the small community was left to wonder, What happened to Maggie? Maggie, the star student who never had an unkind word to say about anyone. Maggie, who many would see sitting in the family restaurant on weeknights working on her computer either on homework, a new speech, or studying her lines. Maggie, who was so popular, everyone loved her.
And then exactly one week later, everyone found out that Maggie’s body had been found in the burned out house. The house where she had surprised a stranger by coming home. This stranger who stole weapons and ammo from her parents home, who took a gasoline can and set the place on fire either before or after killing her. This evil, POS who obviously has no conscious or value for human life, was given an entire week to disappear. The only descriptions so far: White man, 20’s, flash burns on his arms, driving a light colored mini van 1990s or early 2000’s model, last seen driving north on the 285 (for those that don’t know, he was headed towards Denver). Gang member? Who knows. What we do know is he is armed and dangerous.
When I drive by their ranch gate, it is filling up fast with flowers and balloons. A candlelight ceremony was held last night at 7:00 pm at Crow Hill Bible church in her honor. Yes, we live in a very small community but most up here live on an acre or more of property. Maggie lived on a ranch where they raise cattle and their house is set about a mile off the road. You really don’t see much suspicious activity up here though we do keep our eyes open to it. We have a false sense of security. Bad things happen everywhere. Evil people are everywhere. I’m sure Maggie had no idea what was taking place in her home until it was too late. She was only seventeen, graduating this May and most likely would have been going away to college. Evil took her future away.
We really need to get over the false sense of security most of us have up here just because we live in a small community. Don’t leave your purse in the car; lock your doors; lock your garage; get a safe and put all your valuables in it; get an alarm system. In today’s day and age, living in the country or in the mountains is not what it used to be.
RIP Maggie. You were loved and will be missed by many. Let’s bring your prep to justice.