DELTA COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Investigators on Colorado’s Western Slope are continuing to search for evidence in the area where remains that are thought to be that of Paige Birgfeld were discovered.
Birgfeld’s father, Frank Birgfeld, of Denver, was back at the Wells Gulch area on Thursday along with officials from the Mesa County, Delta County and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
“What we’ve done is we’ve just walked up the wash because (the remains) were somewhere further up and it all washed down at some point,” he told CBS4.
Frank was searching the area with another searcher who was helping nearly 5 years ago. Many people can’t believe that the body was found in a spot that was repeatedly checked by search parties after Birgfeld was first reported missing in 2007.
The 34-year-old single mother of three was considered by investigators to be a murder victim. When Birgfeld disappeared from near her home in Grand Junction, investigators found her car on fire. Bloodhounds tracked her scent to an RV service facility, but her body was never found.
Earlier this week a hiker in Wells Gulch reported finding human skeletal remains. Forensic dentistry was used to tentatively identify the remains as belonging to Birgfeld. A DNA comparison is being requested through the CBI to confirm the results. Other personal items were found along with the remains and they are being tested by DNA experts.
After the investigators wrapped up some work Wednesday a surveyor was out Thursday plotting the scene. Wells Gulch is a vast open expanse, and Frank told CBS4 he feels like there has got to be more evidence around.
Frank says he’s still dealing with a cornucopia of emotions.
“I have emotions that are like a stew inside me,” Frank said. “I put labels on them and yet none of them really fit — despair, sadness, frustration, anger and, just, loss.”
According to The Associated Press, in October 2007, investigators identified Lester Ralph Jones, then 56, as a suspect. Mesa County Sheriff’s officials confirmed to The Associated Press that Jones is still a suspect in the case.
Birgfeld sold kitchen products and also ran an escort service.
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