We think we know the people who are closest to us; we could never imagine that they would have skeletons in their closets. However, not everyone is as innocent as they seem.
When a mother of three mysteriously vanished, an investigation began to bring her back. No one who knew her could have foreseen what dark secrets were about to be revealed, or how they would change the lives of three children forever. You won’t believe how this story ends.
Click ‘Begin’ to hear the harrowing tale of a struggling mother who just wanted to build a good life.
Paige Birgfeld was well-liked by all of the people she knew. As a young girl she was bright and personable, and as an adult she was even more so.
As a young girl in high school, Paige became enamored with a young man named Howard Ron Biegler. The pair hit it off right away, and quickly became high school sweethearts. There was so much to love about Paige; it was no surprise she had a boyfriend.
Things got serious pretty quick. Click ‘Next’!
A Serious Move
After high school, Paige and Howard decided that they wanted to spend their lives together. The pair eventually wed, and prepared to take on the adult life together.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way the couple imagined. Although all of their friends and family were certain they were soulmates, the pair eventually drifted apart. Paige and Howard decided to divorce, but they did so in a peaceful and loving way.
Or so everyone thought. Click ‘Next’.
Paige was a strong woman, and she was determined to get back on her feet. She moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, where she met a new man named Rob.
Coming from a divorce, Paige wanted to be sure that she picked the right man for herself. Luckily, she and Rob shared similar life goals, and they had all kinds of fun together. It wasn’t long before they couple were saying their “I Do’s” and making life plans.
Things were falling into place…right? Click ‘Next’.
Building a Family
Things were going well between Paige and Rob, and they eventually welcomed their first child together. Paige was a wonderful mother, and she and Rob welcomed two more kids into the family.
For a while, things seemed to be going wonderfully. However, behind closed doors, the world was different. Unbeknownst to many, Paige was battling Rob’s violence; she would later claim that he would physically harm her, and that she was afraid of him.
This wasn’t the way to live. Click ‘Next’.
Paige didn’t want to spend her life being afraid. She knew better than to let her husband scare her from doing something about it. In the end, Paige filed for divorce.
Rob was stunned, but the woman he loved went through with it. Paige eventually moved out of the family home, and found her own place. There, her and her children lived a quiet life that was free of the fear her husband had created.
Things got tough. Click ‘Next’ to find out what we mean.
In the days that followed, Paige realized just how hard it was going to be to take care of herself and three kids. Financially, things were tough.
In order to give her children the best lives possible, Paige worked all kinds of odd jobs to make ends meet. She became an entrepreneur of sorts, finding jobs in unrelated fields like sales, and teaching. The independent woman also managed a few of her own businesses.
She wasn’t going to let this bring her down. Click ‘Next’!
As time went on, Paige started to consider finding a new relationship. She had been closed off when she was focused on the children, but now she was being open-minded again.
This was a good thing, since one man had been thinking about her a lot. The man who wanted a chance with Paige was Howard—her high school sweetheart. In his case, he was hoping for a second chance at love. Paige was weary, but open to the potential.
Things were going well…for now. Click ‘Next’!
Paige and Howard began talking more and more, and the young mother realized that she still had feelings for the man all along. They could spend hours talking without running out of things to say.
Eventually, Howard took the leap and asked Paige on a date. He wanted it to be a very special first date, one that would show the woman how amazing their life could be together. Paige was certain that the man’s intentions were innocent and true.
She made an agreement. Click ‘Next’.
The Long Road
Finally, Paige gave into the idea of going on a second first date with Howard. He suggested they do a romantic picnic near his home, which was located in Eagle, Colorado.
The location was almost a two-hour drive for Paige, but she decided that it was worth the effort. On June 28th, 2007, Paige packed up her car, and said goodbye to her children. With a nanny at the home for the evening, she knew they would be safe.
But would she? Click ‘Next’!
After 120 miles of driving, Paige finally saw her high school sweetheart again. He was just as she remembered him, only this time, they were both so happy to see one another.
They spent the afternoon together, talking about plans and getting to know one another again. As the day began to dwindle down, Paige decided that it was time to go. She had a long drive ahead of her, after all. Howard wished she wouldn’t have to go.
It was time to go home. Click ‘Next’!
Paige wanted to try and get home before her children went to bed. It was a long ride ahead, but the road was smooth and clear. At one point, Howard called to check in on her.
Paige answered the call, and informed Howard that she was actually almost home. She was driving through a section of desert, and then she’d be back in town. With his love interest close to home now, Howard said goodnight.
Paige’s kids were waiting. Click ‘Next’.
Into the Night
Paige’s children were waiting for their mother to put them to bed. Howard had spoken to Paige at 9:00 PM when she said she was almost home. Now, it was 11:00PM.
For some reason, there was still no sign of Paige. The children’s’ nanny was sure that Paige had said an earlier time, and she was never late. Some nights she was working much later hours, but the nanny had always been informed about this.
Click ‘Next’. This all happened on a Thursday.
The nanny didn’t know what to do. She put the children to bed, and tried to get in touch with Paige a handful of times. Not answering her phone, Paige began to worry the nanny.
As time wore on, it became clear that something was wrong. By the time Saturday rolled around, Paige’s phone was filled with messages from her children, Howard, and even her ex-husband Rob. Rob, at this point, was now living in Pennsylvania.
Where was Paige? Click ‘Next’!
Calling All Cops
That Saturday, the cops became involved in Paige’s disappearance. Her father was also informed about the situation, and he couldn’t imagine why Paige would abandon her kids.
Paige’s parents, Frank and Suzanne Birgfeld, made the trip from Denver to take care of the kids and look for their daughter. When police spoke to Frank, he assured them that this was some sort of sinister crime; Paige would never leave her babies behind.
Did he know his daughter though? Click ‘Next’!
Without any clues or word from the missing woman, the police didn’t have a lot to work with. However, a serious discovery not far from Paige’s home was about to break open the case.
Police ended up locating Paige’s vehicle, a red Ford Focus, in a parking lot 3 miles from her home. It wasn’t just sitting there though—the car was completely burned from the inside out. The cops prepared to find the both of the young mother inside.
Click ‘Next’ to find out what they really found!
Shockingly, Paige’s body wasn’t in or near the burned car. A few of her own possessions had been burned, but her purse was also missing.
Unfortunately, the burned car meant that a lot of the potential clues were now burned to ash. The cops spent all kinds of time trying to recover any clues, but there were none. Instead of finding the answer to Paige’s disappearance, they only had more questions. Paige’s family had all kinds of theories about what happened.
They hoped it was all a mistake. Click ‘Next’.
As the investigation continued, the grieving family was as a loss. Paige’s brother, Craig, eventually moved to the city with his family to take care of Jess (8), Taft (6), and Kohl (3).
Police eventually told the family that they had located a planner in the backseat of the car. Oddly enough, this book of paper managed to survive the flames. They hoped that the planner could shed some light on Paige’s plans for the day she went missing.
You won’t believe this. Click ‘Next’.
The cops had hoped that Paige’s planner would tell them where she had been that week, who she had seen, and where she was supposed to be going.
It was the strangest thing though; four of the most recent pages had been ripped out! It was as though someone didn’t want the authorities to get any hold on the plans that Paige had for that day. What had she written down that had to be kept secret?
The plot only gets thicker. Click ‘Next’.
The only strong clue the team had now, was the fact that Paige’s driver-seat was positioned at the furthest spot. If Paige was driving, she wouldn’t even be able to reach the pedals!
Thinking that her car had been driven a far distance from where they found it, the cops expanded their search. They started surveying Mesa County, which was full of canyons, valleys and forests. There were all kinds of places to hide there.
Was she hiding in there? Click ‘Next’!
Police headed into Mesa County, and brought along police dogs as well. They hoped the dogs could pick up the missing woman’s scent. Additionally, they also searched the Gunnison River.
At this point, without clues, they had to exhaust every option. The Birdfelds’ got together a group of 100 people for a relentless search party, but all efforts came up with nothing. Finally, clues were found scattered along Highway 50; random possessions of Paige’s were all along the road.
What is going on here? Click ‘Next’!
Odds and Ends
Found littered all over the highway were odds and ends from Paige’s purse, including a video store card, her checkbook, and the kids’ medical cards.
Had Paige done this? Had she started a new life? The police finally turned to her phone records to see if they had any answers. As it turned out, Paige was making calls to a strange number right before her disappearance. With both Howard and Rob now ruled out, was someone else involved?
Paige secret was coming out. Click ‘Next’.
Howard had no idea, but Paige was working out a strange transaction with another man while she was on their date! The police tracked the number, and connected it to someone Paige knew as “Jim”.
Additionally, Jim would later reveal that he only knew the woman as “Carrie”. So now Paige was lying about her real name to a strange man. What was going on? Jim had called Paige several times on the day she went missing.
What did he want? Click ‘Next’.
Jim had been calling “Carrie” with a pre-paid phone, so he was very hard to track. With some digging, the police found out the phone was bought at a local Wal-Mart, days before Jim started calling the woman.
This Jim called Paige a few times over the course of the week before the last day she was seen. They were able to expose his real identity as Lester Jones, whose work place just happened to be across the street from where Paige’s car was found.
This was getting too fishy. Click ‘Next’.
A Bad Man
With some investigating, the police found out that Lester had been arrested for a number of things, including attempted kidnapping. Why was Paige contacting this kind of man?
With a permit, the police were able to get into Jim’s office. There, they found lists of escorts that Jim had been with, which included their personalities and their bra sizes. His office also included a single gas canister, which the man had no explanation for.
Click ‘Next’. Was it meant to set Paige’s car ablaze?
With no other details to connect Lester to Paige, the police struggled. However, they were able to find out about the real secret that Paige had been hiding from her family.
It was a dark secret, and it was hard to share. As it turned out, Paige had been working a new business as an escort, under the name Carrie. This was how she and Lester met; she had been placing ads in the paper titled, Carrie of Grand Junction.
Her family was horrified. Click ‘Next’.
A Hard Truth
Paige’s family couldn’t believe what the young mother had been doing. She was putting herself into a dangerous ring of people, in order to make some extra cash.
However, they all agreed that Paige’s intentions were pure. They knew that she was doing it just to make sure her children had a good life. They felt terribly that she hadn’t come to anyone to ask for help; instead, she had tried to relieve her debt and provide for her kids on her own.
The truth hurts. Click ‘Next’!
Paige’s double life was now out, but the question remained: Where was Paige? The answer came in 2012, when a hiker made a horrifying discovery in Wells Gulch.
The hiker was walking across a dried-up riverbed, when they found a human skull. When reported to police, a grim detail was discovered: the mouth of the skull had duct tape on it. The body was that of Paige’s, and finally the family had some closure.
It wasn’t good news, but it was closure nonetheless. Click ‘Next’!
In 2014, Lester Jones headed to court. In the first round, the jury could not decide on a verdict. However, justice was served two months later when he was found guilty for Paige’s death.
Lester got a life sentence with no chance for parole, which was a small win for the Birgfeld family. Now, they would have to heal the mental, emotional, and psychological wounds that came from knowing what Paige had endured. It was all so brutal and unfair.
She was just a hard-working mother. Click ‘Next’.
Paige’s father still struggles with the way his daughter left this world. Her children now live with their father, far away from the dark secrets that weighed heavy on them.
Although it would take a long time for Paige’s children to understand what happened to their mother, Paige’s family do their best to let them know how much she loved them. It is all they can do for them now; maybe one day they will see their mother again.
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