Family members, authorities, and the community had searched for her for weeks, but there were still no clues as to the whereabouts of this beloved woman who had created a mom’s support group. Then, her belongings were found near Highway 50, and it seemed like there was a break in the case. But when the items were inspected, it revealed something about the woman that left people stunned. It seemed that she had been leading a secret life, which may have explained what happened to her.
Rarely do people go missing without a reason. The beloved mom’s friends were suspicious from day one. People tried to explain her mysterious disappearance. But her friends knew they were lying to themselves if they thought she was the type of woman who’d just pick up and leave. Something was definitely off. Life wasn’t always easy for this mom, but they couldn’t imagine she’d just leave her kids behind and start a new life somewhere else. If a friend or a family member went missing, you’d leave no stone unturned looking for them, even if there’s a chance they actually ran away, right?
People don’t just disappear, and yet, there’s a startling number of mysterious disappearances in the biggest tourist hot spots all across the United States. According to Todd Matthews from National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, around 90,000 people disappear at any given time. Now friends of the beloved mom were starting to wonder if foul play could’ve been involved. They were damn sure she wasn’t the type of woman who would just pick up and leave…but how well do you know your friends?
Paige Birgfeld was not the type of woman who would have been hiding a secret life…or so it seemed. She had three kids, whom she loved dearly. She cleaned and cooked for them. She also took them to school and to after-school events. It seemed like her priority was to ensure that her kids were happy and healthy. She even allowed her kids to sleep with her at night. But Paige’s life wasn’t as perfect as people assumed.
As far as anyone knew, the loving mom led a pretty normal and happy life. But no matter how well you think you know someone, you never really know what they’re going through behind closed doors. Even worse? No one knows what types of people they could’ve crossed paths with. Friends and family members couldn’t help but wonder if the seemingly-happy Paige just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Paige married Ron Beigler when she was young, but that relationship didn’t last long. Then she married Rob Dixon, and they had three kids together: Trigger, Taft, and Jess. Life in Grand Junction, Colorado, seemed normal, but the family started having money problems, and that’s when everything changed. Rob’s dark side came to the surface, which ultimately pushed Paige to make a difficult choice for her family.
Many people are trapped in a bad relationship without even realizing it until many years later. Sometimes they don’t even notice the signs. Abusive and toxic behaviors can come in many different forms. Often times, people fall prey to a manipulative partner who gaslights them and makes them think they’re over exaggerating. But even if you can’t tell if you’re relationship is toxic or not, you still have the sinking feeling that something’s off.
Abusers are pretty skilled manipulators who can easily shift from perfect husband or wife to total and complete monster. And once the storm has passed and they’ve managed to talk it out, the abusive partner starts begging for forgiveness. After a major blowout, the couple goes back to being happy and in love, and finally, it seems like things are back to normal. But then the cycle starts all over again. Did Paige ignore the red flags or did the financial stress cause their relationship to crack?
The financial problems brought out the worst in Rob and Paige ended up calling 911 on two separate occasions over the many threats and problems the couple faced. It seemed like things weren’t going to change, but the couple eventually resolved their personal issues. However, Paige was concerned that Rob’s odd behavior could resurface. So was her dad, which is why he opened a bank account in her name in case she decided to leave her husband, which she did. But this was only the beginning of Paige’s woes.
Paige never recognized the signs, but her father sure did. He wanted her to have a way out if things escalated in their troubled relationship. Some people wondered if perhaps, he should’ve crossed some boundaries and forced her to move out of their home and stay with him. But as you can imagine, forcing an adult to do anything is no easy task. Opening that bank account for Paige would allow her to gain some independence, and thankfully, she listened to her dad and left her husband.
Anyone can easily fall prey to an abuser’s charming personality. Even if they feel like they’re being manipulated or gaslighted, they still choose to stay and try to salvage whatever is left of the relationship. But where do you draw the line? A toxic partner can make you question your own sanity, even. You might start wondering if you’ve been exaggerating the truth a bit. But perhaps, Paige and her husband Ron were just too immature to be in a relationship together.
We tend to believe this myth that relationships need a ton of work. And while that’s partially true, there are some instances when it’s safer (and smarter!) to just call it quits. Maybe two people aren’t meant to be together in the first place. But Paige had a full plate at the moment, and her ex-husband was the least of her problems. Life was about to challenge this loving mom once again.
Paige was having bigger financial issues since her divorce. She could barely make her monthly mortgage payments. But she was not the kind of person to give up so easily. Over the years, she came up with several ideas to earn extra cash, like flipping houses, selling baby products and kitchen supplies. She even opened a children’s dance school. But despite her best efforts, she was still struggling. But at least her love life was going quite well.
Paige was exhausted. As a somewhat-single parent she had to face so many financial struggles that it started to distract her from enjoying her kids’ accomplishments. But Paige was an awesome mom, even if at times she couldn’t help but feel like the weight of the world was on her shoulders. Still, anyone who’d met Paige knew she wasn’t the type of mom who’d just quit on her kids and simply take off.
Behind the tales of dirty diapers and bedtime stories there are a lot of struggling moms who can barely make ends meet. And despite the many sleepless nights, and obstacles they face, any mom would sacrifice their own lives for the lives of their babies. And Paige was trying every trick in her book to stay afloat. Thankfully, Paige was in a much better place now and she was ready to start dating again. But the person who’d recently swept her off her feet was no stranger at all.
Paige and her ex-husband, Ron, hadn’t ended things on bad terms, and since they were more mature now, they decided to give their relationship another shot. But this time, they decided to do things one step at a time, so they just dated at first. They went on a picnic in Eagle, Colorado, on Thursday, June 28, 2007, and they loved it. Sadly, they didn’t realize that this would be the last time they would be together.
Had Paige changed her mind? That wouldn’t have surprised anyone. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time someone’s gotten back with their ex and then regretted it. But had she simply up and left Ron for no reason at all, or was there a reason?
Months before she vanished, Paige began a new business that kept her away from her kids because of the unusual work schedule. In fact, neither the nanny nor the kids were surprised when she didn’t return on Friday. But no one had heard from her on Saturday either, which made them realize that something was off. Both her ex-husbands as well as her parents were contacted, and cops started to search for her. Then, something shocking was found.
Paige was gone. There was no trace of her anywhere. It was as if she had walked off the face of the Earth, and her loved ones were starting to get worried. Had she been mugged, or was there something more sinister going on? They were starting to fear they’d find her lying in a ditch somewhere.
Even if she never wanted to see Ron again, it didn’t explain why she never came back for her kids. Paige had been a great mom to her kids. She certainly didn’t seem like the kind of woman who would abandon her little ones. But what if someone didn’t give her that choice?
If Paige hadn’t left on her own, then that meant that someone had made her disappear. The logical person to point a finger to was Ron. But there was no evidence to suggest he had anything to do with her disappearance. Then, cops, got their first big break.
Paige’s red Ford Focus was burning a few blocks from her home, but fortunately, Paige was not in the vehicle. Then cops found a picnic basket and a day planner in the trunk of her vehicle. The planner led cops to their first clue. The appointments for the last four days had been removed. Authorities suspected that someone might have been trying to cover their tracks, and they needed more proof. But what cops discovered next had left the entire community in a state of disbelief.
The fact that Paige’s vehicle was set on fire made it obvious that someone was involved in her disappearance. Someone had been in that car with her, and they would do everything in their power to find them. Everything about this case screamed foul play. But the question remained, where was Paige? Could she have been kidnapped?
As authorities scrambled to find Paige, everyone’s biggest fear was that the loving mom might not even be alive. But if there was still a possibility she was breathing, they’d do anything in their power to find her. Maybe she was tied up in a basement somewhere, or dumped in a ditch. Cops knew that time was running out fast.
If Paige was still alive, she might have been injured somewhere. They knew that time was ticking fast. Cops collected every bit of evidence found at the crime scene. They didn’t know if someone had kidnapped her, but as far as they knew, Paige was in serious danger. Maybe she was ditched in some remote area. She might have been wandering for days, dazed, confused, and thirsty. Fortunately, authorities were not alone in their search.
Everyone in the Grand Junction community held the 34-year-old single mom in the highest esteem. Most moms admired her and others even called her “supermom.” Naturally, everyone pitched in and started searching for her. But weeks passed and there were no clues as to where Paige was. The cops eventually stopped searching for her. Then they uncovered a bunch of items found along the highway. But what they revealed about Paige was more than anyone was able to handle at the time.
When a crime isn’t solved in a reasonable amount of time, it becomes a cold case. When this happens, authorities will shelf the case until new evidence or a witness emerges. But Paige’s loved ones feared her disappearance would become a cold case too.
Paige’s disappearance nearly became a cold case, but then, new evidence popped up on the highway when cops least expected it. This discovery had produced more questions than it did answers. But would it lead them to Paige’s whereabouts? Her friends and family members were desperate for an answer, and soon enough they’d finally get one.
Something was off about Paige’s disappearance, and the clues they’d recently stumbled into was about to lift the veil on her whereabouts and how she ended up missing. No one could’ve seen it coming, not in a million years.
The items found along the highway included business cards, a golden high heel, and blank checks, which belonged to Paige. But the items also led investigators to realize what her new business was all about. It turns out that Paige’s business was called “Models Inc.” But her family was stunned when they learned about what she was doing. Worst of all, the business that had liberated Paige financially was definitely not legal.
In between dealing with PTA meetings and bake sales, Paige was involved in a risky business before her kids got home from school. And sometimes, she had to handle her business while they were fast asleep. Paige didn’t seem like the type of mom who would’ve resorted to something like this just to get some side cash, but people were about to get the shock of their lives.
The economic pressure can be overwhelming when you’re a single parent. Paige undoubtedly felt she had no other option than to break the law to earn some extra cash. But it turned out that leading a double life came with big risks.
Paige was using the name “Carrie” to run Models Inc., a company that hired women to go on dates with gentlemen. The business was raking in the cash, which is why Paige was suddenly doing so much better financially. In fact, Paige even simulated other voices to make it seem to her client as though she had plenty of employees for them to choose from. Her family was shocked because they didn’t know that this was actually going on.
Paige’s side job is one of the oldest jobs in the history of the world. Some women have been doing it to support themselves or their families for thousands of centuries. Others have chosen to do it because they think of it as nothing more than a service. But did this ultimately put her in danger or was anyone from her close circle of friends involved?
Perhaps, some people felt that Paige could’ve found other side jobs to make ends meet. Maybe she could’ve studied to become a teacher, which works great because she would only have to work during the day while her children were in school and she’d get the summer off. She could’ve also freelanced, or worked as a babysitter. But no matter the case, you can’t really judge someone for choosing to go this route. It’s not only a very personal decision, but you also never know what drives someone to do it in the first place. Paige obviously felt like she didn’t have many options left.
Paige had definitely been good at her job. This had allowed her to keep her financial situation from going critical. But something had definitely gone wrong, and now her family was reeling from her disappearance and her career choice. No one seemed to understand how she could’ve kept it a secret for so long. How could they be so blind?
Paige’s father went to court and testified: “I was completely in the dark about this whole adult world thing.” Paige’s daughter, Jess, was eight when her mommy vanished, and she also claimed not to know what type of work she did. “At the time, I believed it was just massages and dancing,” she said. But in spite of the shock and shame this revelation brought to the family, it pointed investigators in the direction they needed to solve the case.
Now that Paige’s disappearance was no longer a cold case, authorities had some idea on where to focus their efforts. But it required them to speak to people who didn’t want to speak to the cops about this. So the question remained, would they end up cooperating? Odds weren’t in their favor, but they had to try.
Some men tend to resort to the kind of service Paige provided regardless of their age, race, or income. Many of them do it because they’re extremely lonely, but others simply do it because it’s an easy way to get what they want without having to waste time and energy trying to pick up a woman at a bar. But Paige was taking huge risks every time she met up with a stranger. Sadly, not every guy out there is a good Samaritan.
Unbeknownst to her, Paige was taking a major risk meeting these men. There are a lot of guys out there who are simply looking for a good time. But some men are total psychos, and they use these types of encounters to find their next targets.
The cops had created a list of people who might have seen Paige shortly before she disappeared into thin air. There was a client who used fake invoices to pay Paige $14,000. Another client had made plans to meet her at a motel. Then there was George Corraluzzo, a man who had called her about 20 times that day. But then, cops focused on another man who had such a questionable past that it would shake the very foundation of everyone’s hope of seeing Paige again.
The last thing Paige’s clients wanted was to give out their real names, addresses, or phone numbers. Some of her clients were undoubtedly married or in a long-term relationship. It’s why it took cops so long to question the guys from the list they created. But one obviously stuck out like a sore thumb.
George had called Paige repeatedly the day she had disappeared. That in itself alarmed authorities. But it turns out that there was someone that was even shadier than him, and it made cops question whether Paige was even still alive.
An RV mechanic named Lester Jones had contacted Paige many times because he was one of her clients. He had run into some trouble with the law before, mainly because of issues he had with his ex-wife, Lisa Nance, who was physically identical to Paige. Lisa went to court and testified in the case, but to stay safe, she had to leave the state. Unfortunately, finding Jones was proving to be quite a challenge for police. Then, they stumbled on a clue that helped them to find their suspect.
Was it possible that Lester had some unresolved issues with his ex, Lisa? Did this unstable man hire Paige’s services as a means of dealing with those problems? Since Paige was Lisa’s doppelganger, it made perfect sense that he’d actually targeted her due to her looks. But it also gave everyone cause for concern.
Like Paige, Lester was difficult to find. But if he did have something to hide, then that explained why he was on the run. Eventually, Jones was apprehended, but unfortunately, this wasn’t the only discovery authorities made. In fact, they unearthed some secrets that would break many people’s hearts.
The year was 2014, and seven years had passed since Paige vanished. Sadly, her body was found in a desert ravine by a hiker. Jones went to trial, but authorities didn’t have enough evidence, which led to a mistrial. He went to trial again in 2016, and this time, he was found guilty. He received 65 years to life. Meanwhile, Paige’s family continue to miss her. Her father stated: “When I’m around her children, I feel this elation, but then it’s checked because I realize she isn’t here to appreciate it.”
Paige’s family may have felt a sense of relief in knowing what had happened to their loved one, but dealing with the loss was even more difficult because of the way it happened. Finding solace and acceptance isn’t something that happens overnight. But Paige’s family could still do something in a situation like this, and it would eventually allow them to heal.
It took time for authorities to close this case. Although it didn’t have the ending they would have wanted, at least the mystery was solved. The man responsible is behind bars and can never harm anyone again.
Now the family needs to allow themselves to grief no matter how long it takes. But most importantly, they need to be patient. Learning to live with the loss of beautiful Paige is going to take time and rushing the process won’t really change things. But one thing’s for sure. They must never allow themselves to focus on the way she passed. The focus must be on celebrating her life and the joy she brought to family and friends.