May 6, 2011: Search team returns to field in Birgfeld case

An investigative detail with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department walks along a drainage ditch Friday after searching near Logos Court and a field west of 23 Road close to where Paige Birgfeld’s burning car was found in 2007. More searches are planned, but officials won’t say what they are looking for.



search Birgfeld day2 050611

An investigative detail with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department walks along a drainage ditch Friday after searching near Logos Court and a field west of 23 Road close to where Paige Birgfeld’s burning car was found in 2007. More searches are planned, but officials won’t say what they are looking for.

Searchers spent nearly four hours Friday covering two fields looking for evidence in the 2007 disappearance of Paige Birgfeld.

The effort was the second in three days at 23 Road and Logos Court,  south of Interstate 70.

Seven Mesa County Sheriff’s Department investigators initially focused on a field south of Rocky Mountain Sanitation, 721 23 Road. That search ended around 10:15 a.m., and investigators moved to another field north and west of the locations that were searched for six hours Wednesday along Logos Court. The effort was suspended around 11:45 a.m. Friday.

The investigators appeared largely uninterested in what they saw and did not remove items from the two scenes.

One investigator collected a series of abandoned golf balls, joking they’d be fodder for a yard sale.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has said four bone fragments were collected Wednesday for additional testing. Each was about 1 to 4 inches long.

“They are suspected to be animal bones. However, the fragments did not have any essential demarcations, like joints, in order to make an identification,” said Mesa County Coroner’s Office investigator Kim Hollingshead. “Without any clear demarcations, we may not be able to determine anything at all, but we should at least try.”

Birgfeld’s Ford Focus was found burning nearby in the parking lot of 727 23 Road, on the night of July 1, 2007. She had been reported missing by family June 28, 2007.

The Sheriff’s Department has said developments in the case prompted them to return to the fields Wednesday and Friday. All of the areas searched over recent days were searched nearly four years ago in the days after Birgfeld’s disappearance. They have not specified what they are looking for.

Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Henry Stoffel said they plan more searches in the same general area, adding they may expand to other locations in the Grand Valley.

“We’re going to be busy for a while,” he said.



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