Port Vue couple continues quest to find answers in son's death
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 4:26 a.m.
Fourteen months after their son died, disc jockeys Mike and Candy Long are continuing their pursuit of those responsible for his death — and offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
“People are starting to talk,” Candy Long said on Tuesday. “It is getting out there.”
Ronald G. “Ronnie” Long, 36, died on Jan. 2, 2012, a day after he was found near the couple's Port Vue home, not far from the Fifteenth Avenue Bridge.
The efforts of his parents can be seen on the other side of the bridge, along Walnut Street on the way into the downtown McKeesport business district. That's where the Longs posted their sign a month ago, asking for “Justice for Ronnie Long.”
The sign asks those with information about Long's death to call Allegheny County police at 412-473-1300.
“They need to come forward,” Candy said of those who may have seen what happened, reportedly at the Big Shot bar in Liberty.
At least that's what a letter from someone identifying himsels as “a friend” said.
The letter writer said two men beat Ronnie Long at the bar, then one assailant and his son dropped the victim off along the 300 block of Glenn Avenue Extension in Port Vue.
Mike and Candy Long said they have heard other stories since then, but declined to talk about them.
Ronnie Long died at UPMC Presbyterian. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
The medical examiner's office said on Tuesday that the manner remains “undetermined,” pending a still-open investigation by county homicide detectives.
The bar was sold after the incident, reportedly for $40,000.
In October, friends of the Longs, including others who spin Pittsburgh oldies as they do weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at WEDO-810, gathered for a benefit dance at McKeesport's Palisades, where much of the money was raised for the couple's reward.
“It is a pain that will never, ever go away,” Candy Long said. “Help us, that is the main thing.”
In addition to the “Magic Music” the Longs spin on WEDO, they still take records to monthly dances at the White Oak American Legion.
A dance is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. Admission is $5, Candy Long said, with proceeds to benefit disabled veterans.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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