More than a month after a devastating fire killed five members of a Senegalese family in Green Valley Ranch, law enforcement and the family of those who died are still pleading with the public for more information about who intentionally ignited the flames.
Metro Denver Crime Stoppers on Wednesday increased its reward to $40,000 — one of the largest ever given by the organization — for any information that might lead them to the suspects.
“The primary question being asked by the community is why?” Denver police Lt. Matt Clark said during an afternoon news conference, noting that authorities have rifled through nearly four dozen tips. “Why did this happen? Why this family?”
The Aug. 5 fire killed Djibril Diol, his wife, Adja Diol, and their 3-year-old daughter, Kadidia Diol, as well as Djibril Diol’s sister, Hassan Diol, and her infant daughter, Hawa Beye.
Three others, who have not been identified, survived after jumping from the second floor.
Police are still trying to determine the motive behind the attack, Clark said, adding that investigators haven’t ruled out the family being targeted on the basis of race or religion.
“We don’t have information indicating anyone else is at risk,” he said.
Papa Dia, a spokesman for the family, said the relatives of those killed only wanted two things: For the family to be buried back in Senegal, and “to make sure the people that did this evil will be caught and brought to justice.”
The African immigrant community will live in fear until the suspects are caught, Dia said.
“We have kids that died, who didn’t even live their lives,” said Ousman Ba, a family friend. “Any tip to help make this family at ease.”
The news conference marks the second time in a month that police have pleaded for information on one of Denver’s most serious arson cases in years.
In August, police released a photo of three masked suspects believed to have set the fire before fleeing in a dark-colored, four-door sedan. On Wednesday, police included an additional photo of the suspects in light-colored hoodies and dark masks, saying analysis of the images led them to believe the masks may have been darker.
The tragedy devastated Colorado’s Senegalese community, members of which came out in droves after the fire to mourn with the family outside the charred home.
Senegal’s president offered public condolences, and the country’s consul general said the West African nation was grieving for their countrymen.
A GoFundMe for the family has raised more than 213,000 dollars since the incident.
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