Local News

Alamance Officials Search for Child's Killer

Posted October 18, 1998

— There are few crimes as unforgivable as killing a child, and in Alamance County, a search is underway for the person who killed a 10-year-old girl and dumped her body behind a vacant house.

Tiffany Long was last seen Friday at about 4:30 p.m. with a friend. At 8:30 p.m., her grandmother reported her missing.

Then, a manhunt started. About 50 police officers searched through the night. Early Saturday morning, they made a grim discovery. They found Long's body.

Crime scene tape still adorns the vacant property in Burlington where Long was found. Her home, just a few blocks away, is full of family and friends paying their respects.

Police say they have no suspects but are making progress.

"We received a multitude of telephone calls from the community, which we are very grateful for," said Burlington Police Maj. Randy Jones. "A lot of very good information has come into us. A lot of leads have come into us, and we've been doing a lot of follow-up interviews."

At Hillcrest Elementary School where Long attended 5th grade, teachers wore blue ribbons in her memory and attempted to help students with their grief.

"They're drawing; they're writing; they're remembering; they're talking; they're crying. Some of them don't know quite what to do," said school counselor Charla Littell.

"It certainly makes you stop and think. That was something we talked about yesterday when we met as a faculty. It's not really something you can put into words," said teacher Tess Hutchens.

Along with grief comes fear that other children could be at risk. Police say parents need to be cautious.

"I would recommend any parent be cautious with their children all the time, because it can happen. It could happen here. I obviously say that because it has happened here. Although it hasn't happened in the last 25 years, it does happen across this country," Jones said.

Guidance counselors say they do not want to scare students. They just want them to be safe.

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