Colorado Mom Remains 'Missing'
Birgfeld's burned-out car has provided few clues in her missing person case.
July 5, 2007 — -- Three kids. Two ex-husbands. One missing Colorado woman.
Paige Birgfeld, 34, was last heard from a week ago when she called friends in Grand Junction, Colo., on her cell phone from her 2005 Ford Focus.
Two days later, Saturday, June 30, her family reported her missing to the Mesa County Sheriff's Department. An initial K-9 search of the property around her house did not turn up any clues.
Sunday, local Grand Junction police and firefighters responded to a call about a torched car found in an auto parts store parking lot near Interstate 70, the main east-west highway slicing through Colorado's Rocky Mountain range.
After snuffing out the blaze, investigators learned that the car, which was found 3 miles from Birgfeld's house, belonged to the missing woman. The area around the car remains the focal point of a baffling disappearance and search that continues to intensify, said law enforcement authorities.
"We're open to all possibilities," said Heather Gierhart, a spokeswoman for the Mesa County Sheriff's Department, "whether she walked away or was the victim of something."
The investigation remains, for now, a missing person case, Gierhart said, and authorities are following up on a number of leads. While her car is a critical piece of evidence, there's a possibility that it was set ablaze in a random act of vandalism. There have been a string of car arsons in the area, she said.
Robert Dixon, the father of the Birgfeld's three children, has been questioned by the police, Gierhart said. Dixon, she added, is known to local law enforcement officials for his ties to a controversy involving the misuse of fire department funds in Colorado, although he was was never indicted on any charges, Gierhart said.
Paige Birgfeld recently wrote in an online forum for consultants who sell Pampered Chef products that she feared Dixon's return to Durango, Colo., less than a four-hour drive from Grand Junction.
"I'm thinking this is a bit close for my comfort. He could theoretically hang up the phone and be waiting at my house before the kids and I return from errands," Birgfeld posted on ChefSuccess.com using the name Paige Dixon.