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Suspect named in missing Colo. mom case

Van Zandt: Update in case of woman with double identity

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Clint Van Zandt

It’s been almost 3 ½ months since the 34-year-old mother of three Paige Birgfeld disappeared from her rural Colorado residence.  Authorities determined that she was last seen on June 28th, while her burned out vehicle was found three days later.  The contents of her purse was later found scattered along a highway many miles removed from her car, but to date Birgfeld has not been found, although authorities believe she was the victim was of foul play.

In the initial stage of this missing person case, authorities quickly determined that Birgfeld was not just a twice-divorced kitchen product salesperson, but using the name of “Carrie,” had once worked as an exotic dancer. At the time of her disappearance, she allegedly operated an adult escort service that specialized in providing topless massages.

As in similar missing person cases, Birgfeld’s two former husbands, Rob Dixon and Ron Biegler, quickly became persons of interest, especially when authorities learned that she had spent the day of her disappearance with one of her former spouses. When investigators learned of the clients and want-to-be clients of “Carrie’s” escort service, the investigation became complicated. Law enforcement to identify every such person and account for their whereabouts at the time Birgfeld disappeared.

One such person, 56-year-old Lester Ralph Jones, has now risen to the top of the list of persons of interest, being named the only current suspect in Birgfeld’s disappearance. Jones’ criminal record shows 12 separate charges stemming from January 1, 1999. The charges included harassment or false imprisonment; assault or menacing and second-degree kidnapping; a weapons offense; two misdemeanor traffic offenses and reckless endangerment.  Evidently Jones had some type of client relationship with Carrie and worked for an RV dealership located directly across the street from where Birgfeld’s burned out car was found.  Did Jones have an appointment with Carrie on the evening of June 28th? If so, he would be a logical suspect in the disappearance of the missing mom.  Law enforcement is now seeking the public’s assistance in determining the whereabouts of Jones during the period 6/28 – 7/1, and have searched his home at least twice for evidence of the missing woman.

If Jones has anything to do with the mysterious disappearance of Paige Birgfeld, a.k.a., “Carrie,” the authorities will need to link him to her on the night she disappeared, and will need to find her or her body to make any case against Jones or any other suspect. In the meantime, the investigation continues and the legal battle to determine who gets custody of Birgfeld’s three children also goes on.

And the children; well they go to bed every night wondering about the fate of their mother and their own futures.  Children, after all, are always the ultimate victims in any child custody battle. 

Clint Van Zandt is a former FBI Agent, behavioral profiler and hostage negotiator as well as an MSNBC Analyst. His web site provides readers with security related information.

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