July 19, 2007: Another search in Birgfeld case

Home may hold clues to missing woman's fate

Information from a Hill Avenue house could be a key piece of evidence in deciphering the case of a missing Grand Junction woman, said Heather Gierhart, a spokeswoman of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.

For the second time in two weeks, investigators obtained a warrant and searched the home at 3072 Hill Ave. for clues on the whereabouts of Paige Birgfeld, 34, who has been missing for three weeks.

A search warrant affidavit in the case has been sealed.

Elaine J. Jones owns the house, according to Mesa County assessor records.

“We hope that this would be very fruitful for our investigation,” Gierhart said of Wednesday’s house search. “We can’t say if people in the house are people of interest.”

No one named Elaine Jones had been booked into the Mesa County Jail as of Wednesday night.

About five investigators including personnel from Colorado Bureau of Investigation were seen combing through items Wednesday in and around the house, which is situated in a quiet neighborhood on a dead-end street.

Neighbor Summer Quinlivan, 15, said she’s seen police haul two truck liners from the home’s back yard. Quinlivan said her neighbors, a couple who she thought were married, where friendly people who had a lot of visitors. She said the couple owned two cars and a pickup, none of which were at the home Wednesday morning.

Gierhart said she couldn’t say if the search included vehicles owned by the home’s occupants.

Gierhart said as the investigation continues, some possible suspects are rising toward the top of the list. She said no one has been removed from the list that includes everyone who had contact or was trying to contact Birgfeld recently before she went missing June 28. Gierhart said Birgfeld’s two former husbands, Howard Beigler and Rob Dixon, are equally low on the list of possible suspects.

“So far their alibis have checked out but it’s too early to take anyone off the list just yet,” she said.

Birgfeld’s contacts could be people to whom she sold Pampered Chef products and baby gear. They may also be clients of her escort service and friends, Gierhart said.

Searchers with the Abby and Jennifer Recovery Foundation didn’t reveal any major finds Wednesday, said Connie Flukey, the group’s director. About 60 volunteers searched the side roads around U.S. Highway 50 near Whitewater and will be based out the Lands End Fire Protection District station again today. Flukey said donations of food and support and an uptick in volunteers is helping searchers cover more ground as they finished up their fifth day of searching. Usually at this point in a search, support starts to wind down, but Flukey said more people are volunteering and several restaurants have donated meals.

“We so thankful,” she said. “They’re definitely meeting our needs.”



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