May 21, 2008: Father of missing woman not giving up hope
Every morning Frank Birgfeld wakes in his newly rented Grand Junction apartment to a sign above the bedroom window that reads, “We’re coming Paige.”
That banner, made last year by searchers who scoured the Western Slope in search of his missing daughter, 34-year-old Paige Birgfeld, is motivation enough. While the retired director of the National Association of Securities Dealers could be playing golf and living in Denver with his wife, Suzanne, he has taken up residence in Grand Junction this summer resuming a search that started last summer after Paige was last seen in late June.
“I’m here to find her,” Frank Birgfeld said. “I’m open to any areas that I have some reason to go.”
The Birgfeld family, law enforcement and scores of volunteers headed by the Abby and Jennifer Recovery Foundation combed the areas in and around Mesa and Delta counties last summer for any clues to the whereabouts of the Grand Junction mother of three, who led a double life as an escort.
Mesa County Sheriff’s Department last year listed Lester Ralph Jones, 56, as the sole suspect in Paige Birgfeld’s disappearance, but Jones has not been arrested. The RV repairman whose workplace was across the street from where Paige’s burned out Ford Focus was found a day after she had been reported missing, has had his Pear Park home searched twice by authorities.
The only way for authorities to move forward on the case, Frank Birgfeld said, is to locate his daughter’s remains. And that’s what he aims to do, searching independently or with Abby and Jennifer Recovery Foundation volunteers.
“The solution is: I need to find Paige,” Frank Birgfeld said. “I get up in the morning and think today’s the day.”
Frank and Suzanne sold their daughter’s north Grand Junction home more than a week ago, soon after it was placed on the market. The sale closed another chapter of the nightmare they found themselves in after getting the call June 28, 2007, that their daughter was missing. But it was a relief that the home sold so quickly, Suzanne Birgfeld said.
Suzanne Birgfeld declined to disclose the home’s selling price, but said proceeds went toward trusts for Paige’s children, 8, 6 and 3. Paige Birgfeld’s second husband, Rob Dixon, has custody of the children, and they live in Philadelphia.
Paige Birgfeld’s Grand Junction home at 2512 Oleaster Court was valued at $909,330, according to the county assessor.
It was also sad to tuck away the memories of their daughter and grandchildren living happily there, Suzanne Birgfeld said.
“The most emotional thing is to have to say goodbye to the memories and the kids’ memories,” she said. “They weren’t able to say goodbye.”
Suzanne said her husband needs to solve problems, and the case of his missing daughter is one he hasn’t been able to crack.