The Colorado chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations added $10,000 to the existing reward in hopes that someone will come forward with information.
Denver police continue to seek the public's help with their ongoing investigation into the August 5 arson that killed five members of a Senegalese family. The Metro Denver Crime Stoppers increased their reward to $40,000 in September, and a local chapter of the nation's largest Islamic advocacy group has now added an additional $10,000. This combined $50,000 reward is offered to anyone with information that leads to the arson suspects' arrests.
The fire was first reported at 2:40 a.m. in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood near Denver International Airport. Three fully-masked people were seen fleeing the area in a dark-colored sedan. Five Senegalese family members were killed in the fire, including Djibril Diol, his wife Adja Diol, their 3-year-old daughter Khadija, Djibril's sister Hassan Diol, and her infant daughter Hawa Baye. Three other people managed to escape by jumping from the second story.
My heart breaks for this family and their loved ones.— jessica (@IntroJessica) August 24, 2020
A young, Senegalese Muslim family:
Djibril Diol (29), Adja Diol(23), their daughter(3).
Djibril’s sister (25) and her infant daughter.
May they rest in peace ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/WibTrLtmSI
Friends, relatives, and co-workers shared their grief and emotional memories of their lost friend at a memorial shortly after the fire. Djibril Diol, known as Djiby to friends, was an accomplished engineer who worked for Kiewit Construction. He was known as an all-around incredible person with strong values and a bright smile. His loss, along with the losses of Adja, Khadija, Hassan, and Hawa, has devastated Denver's Senegalese and Muslim communities.
Senegal Consul General Elhadji Ndao also attended the memorial, expressing confidence that the investigation will deliver much-needed answers. Many people in the community believe the arson was a hate crime. In an August 6 statement, the Colorado chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) urged the police department to consider biased motives for the arson.
"We encourage law enforcement to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into this suspected arson. Because the family members who perished in this tragedy are members of minority and immigrant communities, it would only be prudent to investigate the possibility of a bias motive,” says Krista Cole, acting Board Chair of Colorado-CAIR.
Though a motive has yet to be identified, Denver Police Lieutenant Matt Clark said that investigators aren't ruling out the possibility of the family being targeted based on race or religion.
Denver's Senegalese community has taken to the streets in the months since the fire, demanding that justice be served for this family. Protesters gathered at the state capital one month after the tragic fire to bring awareness to the investigation and give relatives a platform to share their grief with the community.
Courtesy of CBS Denver
Four months have now passed since these five beloved family members were killed, and the investigation's lack of momentum has only added frustration for this grieving community. Colorado-CAIR hopes that the increased award will compel someone to come forward with information.
There's still so much pain and confusion surrounding this tragic loss, but one thing is for sure. Even though there are still more questions than answers, this community won't stop fighting until they get justice.
If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Anonymous tips are also welcome.