July 11, 2007: Search set for missing GJ woman
Authorities plan to start searching the Grand Valley this weekend for Paige Birgfeld, the mother of three who apparently fell victim to foul play in connection with her escort business.
Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey said investigators have defined some areas they would like to search for clues about the fate or whereabouts of the 34-year-old woman, who was last seen June 28.
Family members reported her missing June 30, and the next day her car was found ablaze in a parking lot about two miles from her home off a private road, Oleaster Court, on the north side of Grand Junction.
Her background as an exotic dancer, escort and owner of a modeling agency quickly became the focus for investigators.
Leads in the case are plentiful, and “there are some pretty interesting people for us to look into,” Hilkey said. The investigation had narrowed to “a handful” of persons of interest, he said.
Frank Birgfeld said Tuesday he continues to hope “somebody can tell me where my daughter is.”
Investigators were jolted Tuesday when they were told of a woman’s body in the Colorado River in Grand County, Utah, but they determined that afternoon it wasn’t Birgfeld. Hilkey briefed Birgfeld’s family on Tuesday night about plans for a search.
The search will use law enforcement and the Jennifer and Abby Recovery Center, Hilkey said.
The center was founded in an effort to find Jennifer Blagg and her daughter, Abby, who were reported missing in 2001. Jennifer’s body later was unearthed in the Mesa County Landfill, and her husband,
Michael, is serving a life sentence for her killing. Their 6-year-old daughter, Abby, remains missing.
Investigators in the Birgfeld case have focused not only on reconstructing her life in the period just before and after she was reported missing, but also on the days and hours of the people they have classified as persons of interest, Hilkey said.
“It’s a very active investigation,” he said.
Birgfeld advertised her adult-entertainment services as Models Inc. on Craigslist and at http://www.naughtynightlife.com, promising high-class entertainment and imploring customers not to invite her to “filthy residences” or seedy motels.
Many clients knew her as “Carrie,” authorities said.
She also had operated Grand River Acupuncture for about a year out of a Grand Junction office building.
Birgfeld is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, 110 pounds and has sandy hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing blue denim shorts and a blue strapless top with flowers on it.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 244-3500.