The reward for tips leading to an arrest for the fire that killed five people last month has been increased from $14,000 to $40,000, Denver police and Metro Denver Crime Stoppers announced Wednesday.
The reward is one of its largest ever funded by the organization, Michael J. Mills of Metro Denver Crime Stoppers said during a press briefing. It included money approved by the crime stoppers board, $10,000 from the ATF and private donations. The organization usually offers $2,000 in most cases.
Police believe the fire at 5312 N. Truckee St. in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood on Aug. 5 was intentionally set. The fire killed Djibril Diol, 29, Adja Diol, 23, and their nearly three-year-old daughter, Khadija, as well as Hassan Diol, 25, and her infant daughter, Hawa Beye. Denver Police Lt. Matt Clark said a uniformed Denver police officer first spotted the fire and called the fire department.
No new details about the ongoing case were released Wednesday. Denver Police Lt. Matt Clark said authorities have received more than 40 tips about the case. He said investigators have done interviews related to the case around the state and around the country, and have reviewed hours of footage from residential, business and city-operated cameras.
Clark said there is still no motive identified in the case. He said the victim’s race and religious beliefs are being considered by investigators. The Diol family was Muslim.
“The investigators from the fire and police departments, as well as the federal agencies, have been working tirelessly on this case,” Clark said. “I would plea for anyone with information — no matter how small you think it is — to contact Crime Stoppers and make that report.”
Last month, police released images of people in what looked to be black hoodies and white masks. On Wednesday police released the same image with what they believe is a more accurate depiction: black masks and light-colored sweatshirts. They also re-released an image of a dark-colored sedan believed to have been the getaway car
Three people escaped the fire by jumping off a window. Clark said the three were injured.
Family and friends of the Senegalese-American family who died in the fire held a rally on Sept. 5 to continue pressing police and the city to investigate the crime. Papa Dia, founder of the African Leadership Group and a Senegal native, said roughly 200 people attended the rally. Dia attended Wednesday’s press conference representing the Diol family.
Dia said family members have been buried in Senegal. He’s asking people with any information to reach out to police and to spread the Crime Stoppers flyers with details about the suspected arsonists. He said there’s fear among the Senegalese community in Colorado about what happened to the Diol family.
“We are begging, knee on the ground, anything you know, please come forward to help us solve this crime,” Dia said.
The Denver Fire Department and the ATF are helping with the investigation. Anyone with information on the case can call 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous.