GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4)– Jurors heard from forensic experts on Thursday in the murder trial of Paige Birgfeld, a single mother of three in Grand Junction.
Lester Ralph Jones was arrested in November 2014 for the June 2007 murder of Birgfeld.
Authorities allege he killed Birgfeld, dumped her body and torched her car. He has been charged with murder, kidnapping and arson.
Medical professionals told the jury that they couldn’t tell for sure how Birgfeld died. Her skeletal remains were found in 2012, in a dry creek bed in neighboring Delta County county.
The bones found in the ditch had duct tape attached to them. Some of the bones were broken. Still, forensic experts were not able to tell just when the injuries happened.
Investigators say Birgfeld, twice divorced and living in Grand Junction about 200 miles west of Denver, led a double life as a paid escort with many unsavory clients.
Jones was arrested after detectives questioned — and ruled out — at least eight other men, including Birgfeld’s former husband and several other clients. Witnesses said one of those clients had an “arsenal of guns and a pile of cocaine.”
The prosecution is expected to wrap up their case on Monday.
The defense is expected to focus on what they consider a botched investigation from the day Birgfeld went missing. They are expected to tell jurors about five other men they claim could have killed her and claim the sheriff’s office did little to investigate those other men.
Her apparent double life attracted widespread attention to the mystery of her disappearance, including a “48 Hours” segment called “The Secret Life of Paige Birgfeld” in 2008.
The trial is expected to wrap up next month.