July 6, 2007: Complicated life a roadblock in Birgfeld hunt
Paige Birgfeld’s life was a web of contradictions that have investigators trying to separate out the strand that might explain her disappearance.
Birgfeld, a devoted mother of three whose whereabouts were last known June 28, was reported missing Saturday, and her burned-out car was found Sunday.
She was known by friends and family as a single mother who labored at three jobs, including selling kitchen supplies and baby gear and at her modeling agency.
When her father, Frank Birgfeld, was called Saturday about her disappearance, an investigator took him aback when he said Paige’s occupation was in the “adult-entertainment area,” Frank Birgfeld said.
Paige Birgfeld was no stranger to that business, having worked in Denver as an exotic dancer before her second marriage, according to a friend who asked not to be identified.
Frank Birgfeld said he’s learning much about his daughter that he never knew.
“Based on the way this thing is unwinding, this isn’t the sort of thing she would want me to know,” he said Thursday. “I haven’t heard of anything illegal. I’m getting the feeling she knew where the line was.”
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday confirmed that investigators were “aware of Paige being involved in an escort service,” the agency said in a news release.
Investigators interviewed multiple individuals and began to focus on some of them, mostly those who had contact with Paige Birgfeld in the days immediately before she disappeared, Undersheriff Rebecca Spiess said.
The discovery of Paige Birgfeld’s burned-out car in an industrial area not far from her home at 2512 Oleaster Court “does add complexity to the missing-person’s investigation,” Spiess said. “However ,we have not ruled out a random act of vandalism in the burning of Paige’s car.”
The car, a red, 2005 Ford Focus, was found aflame Sunday night at 727 Road 23.
Grand Junction Fire Department investigators, Grand Junction police, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Mesa County Search and Rescue Control Inc. are investigating.
After Birgfeld’s disappearance, members of the Grand Junction MOMS club, in which Birgfeld was a charter member, drew up fliers asking people with information about her whereabouts to contact authorities.
Frank Birgfeld also has crisscrossed the Grand Valley offering fliers about his daughter’s disappearance and seeking information.
Like many who knew Paige Birgfeld, her father said he’s confused about her disappearance given her devotion to her children.
It was strange that her cell phone was turned off “when there was the matter of the children to be concerned about,” he said.
Likewise, said her friend, Paige Birgfeld’s disappearance is disturbing because of her attachment to the children.
She wouldn’t have disappeared without her children. “That’s for damn sure,” the friend said.