Did the soccer mom’s secret life ultimately lead to her death?
Paige Birgfeld was a gorgeous young woman from Colorado, USA. She was a sweet, caring lady who loved kids. People adored her for her lively attitude, and she’d go above and beyond her means to help people.
Yet, things didn’t go well for the 35-year-old woman.
Paige went to the University of Florida to pursue nursing. She met Ron Beigler there, and the two fell in love. Paige dropped out of college and moved back to Colorado with Ron. They got married and were excited to start a new life together.
Paige was a family-oriented person. She always wanted kids and a close-knit family. Ron, however, had no such desires. He was afraid of responsibilities and kept pushing the idea away. This difference of opinion affected their relationship, and the couple got divorced in 1997.
Paige opted not to go back to college and went to work at a strip club. The job paid her bills, and she also got to meet some influential people like Rob Dixon.
Rob Dixon was a wealthy entrepreneur. Paige fancied him for his philanthropic personality. Plus, he was ready to have kids. Rob also liked Paige’s beauty and wanted to be with her. They got married and moved to Grand Junction, Colorado.
Happy Life Turned Sour
Life in Grand Junction was incredible. Paige and Rob led an extravagant life in a million-dollar home with nine super-cars.
In three years, Paige and Rob had three kids. Paige loved her children and would do anything to protect them. She spent a lot of time with them and was often perceived as the perfect soccer mom.
However, this happy life didn’t last long.
Rob’s business took a hit, and he lost almost all his money. Their lifestyle was eating away his savings, and he couldn’t keep up. The financial burden was too much for the family. So Paige went back to work in the adult industry. Rob didn’t like this, and this led to frequent arguments.
In 2005, Paige called 911 and complained that Rob had hit her and held her youngest child hostage.
The police arrested Rob for domestic violence, child abuse, and third-degree assault. Initially, Rob claimed he did nothing and alleged that Paige made him look like the bad guy. But eventually, he pleaded guilty, and the judge only sentenced him to attend anger management programs.
After this incident, things only got worse. Rob filed for bankruptcy, and his reputation was smeared. The community called his generous acts a sham because he couldn’t pay for the equipment and services he had leased and donated.
In 2006, Paige divorced Rob. Even though it devastated her to see her family broken, she went ahead with it. Rob didn’t want to live in Grand Junction anymore and moved to the East Coast. Paige, however, stayed there.
The Single Mom Life
Since Rob was bankrupt, Paige had to step up and take care of her three kids. She knew she needed a lot of money. So, she got creative.
Paige opened up a dance studio for kids. Since Paige loved children, it was the perfect business for her. She’d take lessons, arrange recitals, stitch costumes, and come up with creative dance choreographies. It was an ideal opportunity for her.
To supplement her income, Paige started selling baby slings. She also joined a Multi-level Marketing (MLM) company called ‘The Pampered Chef.’ For those who don’t know what MLM means, it’s like a pyramid scheme. You build networks and sell products. The more sales you and your network make, the more money you earn.
These MLM companies often need their members to hold parties to build networks and sell products. So, Paige was regularly holding these events and was a known face in the neighborhood.
Things turned out good for Paige. She was a successful and valued salesperson. She spent quality time with her kids and had overcome the financial strains from her marital life. Her independent, fierce, and thriving attitude took her to places.
However, this comfortable life didn’t last long.
The Unshakeable Feeling
In 2007, Paige started worrying a lot. She felt like someone was out to get her. She believed something horrible was going to happen to her family.
On June 22, 2007, Paige attended a pool party at her best friend’s house. But she seemed disturbed. For some reason, Paige thought Rob was going to hurt her and take the kids away. While her friend brushed it off, Paige couldn’t shake her feelings away.
Paige also shared her feelings with other people. She expressed her concerns about her ex-husband with the Pampered Chef online community. Her friends from the Grand Junction Mom’s club also thought Paige was distraught. She wasn’t her lively self and was acting strange.
However, on June 28, 2007, Paige called her friend Andrea and spoke to her cheerfully. Paige revealed she was particularly excited to meet her first husband, Ron. Paige had feelings for him, and she assumed it was destiny.
Paige met Ron at Eagle, Colorado, which is approximately halfway between Grand Junction and Denver.
It thrilled Paige to catch up with Ron. After spending an enjoyable time together, Paige drove back to Grand Junction and Ron to Denver.
Paige called Ron to check on him. And that was the last anyone heard of her. When Paige never came home, her children tried contacting her, but they couldn’t.
Now, this was strange. Paige never turned her cellphone off as she wanted to be available to her kids always. They feared something was wrong.
Paige’s oldest kid and their stay-in nanny went to the police and registered a formal complaint.
The police first interrogated Ron, as he was the last person to have seen her. Ron told the police everything that happened the other day. The police checked his phone records and concluded that he was not a suspect.
The police also talked to Paige’s friends. They got to know her fears concerning her second husband, Rob. They then contacted Rob and found out that he also had an alibi in Pennsylvania.
Just when they thought the case was approaching a dead end, they got a lead.
The Burning Car
On July 1, 2007, the police dispatch got a call about a burning car. By the time the police reached the scene, it was burnt completely. But the forensics team identified it as Paige’s car, and they knew it was foul play.
The police believed Paige was murdered. They noticed that the driver’s seat was pushed back. So, someone tall was driving the car. Plus, the fire had been started from the passenger’s end, where Paige must’ve sat.
On July 14, 2007, a massive search party with over 150 volunteers searched for Paige’s remains. About 15 miles away from Paige’s car, the team found her belongings. They found her credit cards, checkbook, and business cards. However, there was no sign of Paige.
The Secret Life Revealed
From the retrieved belongings, the police found a crucial piece of information.
Paige was offering escort services under an alias, Carrie. Sometimes, she visited her clients, and other times, she brought them to her office. She even started her own escort company in 2005, called Models, Incorporated.
Now, this was a shocking piece of information. While few knew about Paige’s stint as a stripper, they believed it was her past. She now had a fairly public life with parties, dance classes, etc. They didn’t expect her to be in the escort service.
At this point, the police found it difficult to ascertain the events of her disappearance. She led a secret life, and that complicated matters. They accessed Paige’s phone records and interviewed some of her clients. But nothing seemed to pan out.
The Missing Piece
The search went on for a few weeks, with no success. There were no suspects, clues, or theories about what could’ve happened.
In desperate attempts, the police brought in more dogs to search where they found the car. One dog caught a scent that led to a store across the street. A man named Lester Jones managed that store.
Lester and Paige knew each other. Lester wanted to be Paige’s client, but Paige was afraid of him. She wanted to do nothing with him. The police suspected Lester and dug into his life.
The police found out that Lester had a previous criminal record. He had physically abused his ex-wife and had spent several years in prison. They then searched Lester’s house and found some Viagra pills, escort information, and sex articles. The man was clearly obsessed with sex, but the police found nothing on Paige.
So, while the police couldn’t charge him yet, they found records of calls made from a burner phone to Paige’s. They also unearthed CCTV footage of Lester buying a burner phone. And when the police examined his burner phone, they confirmed that he called Paige five times on the day she disappeared.
The police then brought Lester in for questioning and asked him to leave his cars for analysis. While the inspection gave them nothing, Lester gave them a reason to suspect him. When the police requested Lester to come and take his cars the next day, he blabbered,
“So I can come to pick them up?”
“Yeah, you bet,” the officer responded.
“I don’t think so,” Lester replied.
The officer responded, “Uh, Mr. Jones, I’m not following you.”
“You’re asking me where I would bury a body,” Lester said.
“I’m sorry?” the officer said.
“You’re asking where I could bury a body,” Lester said again.
“When did I ask you that?” the officer said.
Lester fell silent.
Despite all the suspicious pieces of evidence, the police couldn’t charge Lester because they hadn’t found Paige’s body.
Years went by with no clue, and the case turned cold. Just when Paige’s well-wishers were losing hope, they found her body.
In 2012, five years after Paige went missing, a hiker found a body on a trail in Delta County. With dental records, the forensics team concluded it was Paige. The team also inferred from her fractured jawbone and duct-taped skull that Paige was beaten to death.
Trial and Verdict
After all these years, the police were still suspicious of Lester. Lester’s prior record, his slipup with the police officer, burner phone log, and his weird obsession with Paige contributed to this belief.
In November 2014, the police charged Lester for murder and kidnapping. When they arrested Lester, he wasn’t surprised at all. In fact, it seemed like he knew it was going to happen and was cooperative.
Lester’s trial began only in July 2016, nine years after Paige’s disappearance and murder. Lester’s ex-wife testified against him, citing his violent behavior and ability to murder people. But the defense squashed her claims as there was no physical evidence tying Lester to Paige’s murder.
After 22 days, the jury still couldn’t settle, and a mistrial was declared.
But the prosecutors didn’t want to close the case. They appealed for a retrial and the second trial began on November 21, 2016.
The prosecution presented more information this time. It introduced CCTV footage of a white Chevy Impala circling Paige’s office. While Lester didn’t own a Chevy Impala, his present wife did. The police also proved that it was his wife’s car.
Just before Christmas 2016, the jury found Lester guilty. He was charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, second-degree murder, and kidnapping. Lester was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
The Present Day
Paige’s family and friends finally found closure after almost a decade.
It’s heartbreaking for her kids to grow up without their mom. In many ways, Paige was the perfect soccer mom who was always there for her children. She did everything she could to support her family and provide them with the life they deserved.
As for Lester Jones, he’s still in prison. He’s appealing for parole as he believes his conviction is based on circumstantial evidence. Lester argues that there was no physical evidence to tie him to the crime. He is also asking for his kidnapping sentence to be vacated. The result of his appeal is yet to be determined.