Missing Escort Mom: Personal Items Found

Searchers in Colorado this weekend discovered various personal items belonging to Paige Birgfeld, the missing 34-year-old mother of three, who police say lived a secret double life as an escort.

"They did find several items that belonged to Paige," Heather Gierhart, a spokesman for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, told ABC News. "The sheriff was pretty clear about personal items that we know belong to Paige, and some other items we're fairly certain belong to her."

Investigators, with the help of a volunteer search group, found the items along a roughly 13-mile stretch of highway south of Grand Junction, the mountain town where Birgfield lived with her three children before disappearing June 28.

The items, which Gierhart would not specifically name, are being processed as evidence in Birgfeld's disappearance, which investigators now believe is likely a case of foul play.

The search continued this weekend, with volunteers from the Abby & Jennifer Recovery Foundation fanning out on the shoulders and along the median strip of Route 50, according to Connie Flukey, the foundation's director.

"We're going mile marker to mile marker," Flukey said from the search site, adding that temperatures topping 100 degrees and thick sagebrush have posed challenges to the volunteers.

"We actually found many, many things with her name on it," Flukey said. "I am seeing 13 miles where we're finding stuff with Paige's name on it."

Joining in the search is Frank Birgfeld, Paige's father, as well as Craig Birgfeld, the missing woman's brother.

"Boy are we humbled by the effort these searchers have made," Frank Birgfeld told ABC News as he searched the highway's shoulder. "They don't know me, they're out here and man, it's hot."

Birgfeld, the retired director of the National Association of Securities Dealers, speculated that his daughter may have been the victim of a spontaneous crime and that the perpetrator may have panicked after harming his daughter.

"It occurs to me that whoever is out there, I guess I think it's a man, but it could be a woman, here's someone who very well may be a decent person, might have been considered a solid member of the community," Frank Birgfeld said. "Something happened, we don't know what. He's trying to get away, trying to pretend it didn't happen."

Since Birgfeld vanished more than two weeks ago, investigators, family and friends have faced a puzzling string of possible leads.

First, they discovered Birgfeld's 2005 Ford Focus ablaze in a local Grand Junction parking lot.

They've interviewed her two ex-husbands, both of whom had run-ins with police tied to minor domestic violence incidents during their respective marriages to Paige.

She was last seen by the first of her two husbands, Howard Biegler, with whom she had recently rekindled her relationship -- something she wrote about in postings on a Web site for consultants who sold chef's products. On the same site, she described fearing her second husband and the father of her children, Ron Dixon.

But police say both men have fully cooperated and neither is considered a "person of interest" in her disappearance. The three children are currently living with Dixon in Arizona.

Investigators also revealed publicly a double life in which they say Paige, using the name "Carrie," offered escort services. Using her cell phone records, police have interviewed some of her former clients.

Birgfeld kept an office in town for her to house a business she called Grand River Acupuncture, but officials say she was not licensed to practice. Tenants of the building told the Denver Post that she often would enter the office in off-hours with different men.

The news that their daughter was allegedly working as an escort surprised her family and friends, who universally described Birgfeld as a devoted single mother, albeit one who was juggling many jobs to support her family.

"As a dad, if I had known it, I would have probably urged her away from it," Frank Birgfeld said. "One on moral grounds and two, because it was dangerous."

But he also said that his daughter, an attractive young woman, was merely doing what she had to in order to raise her family on her own. And, he added, they would never let her double life distract them from finding their daughter.

"These searchers are absolutely relentless, they say, 'We're going to search until we find her,'" Frank Birgfeld said. "There's almost a grit of their teeth when they say it."