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tv   Dateline Extra  MSNBC  November 25, 2021 3:00pm-5:00pm PST

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interrupted. that's all for this edition of "dateline." paige, this is carol, i saw something on tv about you being gone since thursday night. i hope you're all right. oh, my god, oh, my god. >> paige, if you get this, please, please call somebody. everybody's worried about you. everybody's looking for you. please let us know you're okay. >> paige was a woman with a premonition. >> she said she knew something bad was going to happen. a couple days later, she was missing. >> we found out she had this second life.
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>> she had been playing a risky game. >> that opened the door to a multitude of people we needed to start looking zat he was a scam artist? >> correct. >> he was a liar, he was manipulative. >> they get their man before he struck again. >> i turned around and he was sitting in the dark. he said i'm going to kill you. >> the story of this disappearance has since woven itself into local lore. >> she's a great mother and friend. >> it's a great mysterious we've
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been following since it began, and now, as thunder hits, finally, a trial. >> what he told me is that he knew how to get rid of a body so that nobody could find it. >> he said i'm going to be kill you and then slapped me repeatedly. >> finally, rumors and gospel would be dispelled, or made fact. and the secrets known not only by the guilty, but also the shamed, would finally be revealed. why so many secrets, whispers, rumors? because in this town, where everybody knows everybody else's business, there were enough potential suspects to fill a minivan. >> did you have anything to do with the disappearance of paige? >> no. >> i was put under psychiatric care for the first 48 hours, and then sent to jail. >> i did not kill paige. that's the bottom line. >> it was late june 2007 when
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news of paige's disappearance first spread like the morning sun. over the mountains in denver four hours away, frank was driving to his office. the phone rang. >> voice on the phone says this is somebody with the mesa county sheriff's office. he said, are you paige's dead? did you know she's missing. >> she got the call from her husband who told her -- >> paige is missing. and i said, "what do you mean missing?" she said, "well she has been missing since thursday night." it didn't make any sense that he would be missing. >> no way for even a best friend to prepare for such a thing. >> stunningly beautiful, one of those woman that was almost a little bit intimidating if you were an average mom. >> she could have been forgiven
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for feeling envy. she had the look, the money, the big house on the hill and three attractive kids. but no, it wasn't like that at all. >> the way she talked, the way she acted, the way she treated you, everything about her was just so wonderful. >> barbara campbell, andrea, and paige were members of grand junction's mobs club international, a kind of social support group for young stay-at-home mothers. once a year they would throw a spring fling, a put-on prom for moms. fancy clothes, red carpet entry, even a pretend reporter throwing fashion questions. paige was always the star, of course. and this year the party was held at her place, which made ate very special event. >> most of us did not live in a home that large. she was just so down to earth and humble about it that once
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you got over the artwork on the walls and how beautiful a home it was, you almost forgot that you were in this really very high-end home. >> so the winner is, drum roll, please, paige! [ cheers and applause ] >> she was so comfortable hosting people that made anybody there feel comfortable. sometimes you meet someone and you just instantly have a good feeling about them. you're going to be friends with them, it's just going to be an instant match. that's what i had with paige. >> and then that call. the sheriff's deputy said after meeting a friend in 2007, paige simply didn't come home. as they drove from denver to grand junction, paige's parents tried to understand what was happening. >> as we started out, i don't
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know that i was very tense or i thought of the worst. i guess, gee, i wonder where she is. i hope she's -- but as the drive went on, it became more and more anxious, more and more tight, more and more -- >> and i would be calling the kids on the home phone just saying we're going to be there, you know, and trying to sound reassuring. >> the kids had just a nanny with them, because paige had parted ways with her husband, rob dixon, who since moved out of state. still, as a single mom with three little kids, paige had her life well in control, due in no small part to her obsessive organizational skills, she ran several small businesses and kept track of every soccer practice and dentist appointment in an old-fashioned handwritten day planner. >> every page was full and cross-referenced. >> she was always with it. she'd come over to visit, it
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came in the door right there front of her. she was always checking it and phoning. >> overbooked, divorced, three kids, first question. was there a chance she simply walked out on her life. >> we talked about sometimes i just want to run away. and she said, you know, i never feel that way. i never want to run away. even if i did want to run away just to get away from here, i would want to take my kids with me. >> there was no way she would leave without her children. they were her life. >> if she needed to hide, she would have found a way to do it with them. >> so what, then? what happened to paige? her friends, her parents didn't know what to do, where to look. maybe a clue could be found tucked away in her day planner. except it too was missing.
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coming up, police piece together the hours leading up to paige's disappearance. and one encounter grabs their attention. >> we found out that she had been visiting her ex-husband. obviously he was a person of interest. >> when "the secret life of a soccer mom" continues. nsation. what is this nightmare? it's how some people describe... shingles. a painful, blistering rash that could interrupt your life for weeks. forget social events and weekend getaways. if you've had chickenpox, the virus that causes shingles is already inside of you. if you're 50 years or older ask your doctor or pharmacist about shingles. riders, the lone wolves of the great highway. if all they need is a biker and a full tank of gas. their only friend? the open road. i have friends. [ chuckles ]
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. it was a thursday when paige birgfeld of grand junction, colorado, quite suddenly went off the radar, which was at least a good place to start. so the sheriff's office set out to trace her steps that day. >> we found out she had been eagle visiting her ex-husband and they had been reconciling at that point. >> but he having been the last person to have seen her would be a person of interest? >> yes, obviously he was a
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person of interest. >> this person of interest, ron beeg ler. funny how this works. ten years had sanded off hair sharp-edged disputes and they saw anew while they fell in love. >> it was like no time had passed. >> all this is him talking to a producer. >> at what point did you rekindle your relationship. >> there was no denying it was just as it was before. >> paige's friends agreed. >> she told us she had been seeing ron, and you could tell, i mean, women know when another woman is, you know, suddenly in love with somebody. >> the problem was, he lived in denver, a four-hour drive east. so the two lovers would often meet at some midway point. on the date of her
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disappearance, they chose eagle, colorado. >> we went to subway and brought it back to where we were sitting outside down by the river. it was very familiar and i brought pictures, you know. we just sat there and relaxed and enjoyed the day and the weather. it was a special, wonderful day. >> and then around 7:00 p.m., they kissed and said goodbye and drove back to their respective sides of the state. two hours later at 8:7:00 p.m., paige called him. >> to see if i made it back into denver, and then we had a brief conversation. >> paige told him she wasn't home, stuck behind a bad traffic accident in grand junction, and indeed, investigators confirmed there was a fatal traffic accident right here at this intersection. somebody saw paige's car here too that very evening. the thing is, this is five miles past her house. why was she here?
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an hour later, 9:56 p.m. paige's 8-year-old daughter jess left this anxious voicemail message on her mother's cell phone. >> hi, mom, it's me. i was just wondering when you'd get home. love you, bye. >> no response. her daughter waited, worried, and called again. >> hi, mom. i was just wondering when you were gonna get home. bye. >> they slept as best they could, all three children and awoke the next day, friday, june 29th, to a whole new anxiety. she still wasn't home. >> hi, mom. you said you would be back last night, and you're not even back today. bye. >> something in the pit of the stomach. paige's old and new love, ron, seemed to feel it too. >> hi, where are you?
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>> hour by hour, they piled up, phone messages, like a normal day. >> hey, paige, laura just wanted me to give you a call and let you know. >> hi, this is sears repair service for the fan, calling to let you know. >> to get your pool cleared up, please give me a call, thank you. >> not a single call was returned, and that night, again, the children with their nanny waited in vain for their mother. the following day, saturday, june 30th, ron called the house, and spoke to paige's 8-year-old daughter, jess. >> she didn't sound particularly that distraught. i don't think she had an idea what was going on. of course she didn't. >> but he had been an easy feeling. >> it was impossible that she would walk off and not come home. i mean, i instantly knew something was wrong when i heard she hadn't been home. >> his next call was to 911. >> dispatch, this is clint. >> yes, i needed to talk to you about a missing person emergency. >> okay. and who is missing?
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>> her name is paige dixon. >> how old is paige? >> she's, um, 33. and she hasn't been home all -- all night thursday night, all day yesterday, and today. something is definitely definitely wrong. she either got abducted or an accident. >> and that's when word began to spread across colorado. investigators didn't have a clue what happened to paige. but they wondered if biegler did. >> i don't know what they've done on that. i know that that was never a concern or worry of mine invigorate get pinned on me, you know. >> you have an alibi for that night? >> just i'm confident that the police know that i had nothing to do with it. >> do you feel like you have any thoughts as to what may have happened or what's happening?
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>> i think it was a major premeditated abduction or completely random incident. i think it's more likely that it's a premeditated abduction. >> but sometimes those not asking questions find answers. it was july 1st, 2007, 9:58 p.m. a woman driving home from work slammed on her brakes, called 911. >> 911, this is dusty, what is your emergency? >> i'm at the corner of 23 and logos. there's a car on fire in the parking lot at the building here. >> there's a car on fire? >> yeah. >> do you see flames or smoke? >> yeah, there's a lot of flames. >> coming up, paige's car. what will it reveal? >> it was like really more intense was on the driver's side. >> and then something else belonging to zblaij it was an awful feeling of dread thinking how did this get here, what did it mean? >> either paige's abductor was trying to throw them off track,
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or -- >> she was in the trunk of the car and dumped the items out to leave a trail. >> when "the secret life of a soccer mom" continues. cabenuva is the only once-a-month, complete hiv treatment for adults who are undetectable. cabenuva helps keep me undetectable. it's two injections, given by a healthcare provider once a month. hiv pills aren't on my mind. i love being able to pick up and go. don't receive cabenuva if you're allergic to its ingredients or taking certain medicines, which may interact with cabenuva. serious side effects include allergic reactions post-injection reactions, liver problems,...and depression. if you have a rash and other allergic reaction symptoms, stop cabenuva and get medical help right away. tell your doctor if you have liver problems or mental health concerns, and if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or considering pregnancy. some of the most common side effects include injection site reactions, fever, and tiredness. if you switch to cabenuva, attend all treatment appointments. with once-a-month cabenuva, i'm good to go.
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unbelievable. unbelievable. [ding] . sunday night, the 1st of july, the fire department was called to an industrial parking lot, a little red car was on fire. frankberg if he would heard
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about the fire, roared over there and couldn't do anything as investigators crawled over his daughter's car. that morning, frank gave the first of what would be many, many interviews. >> we were hopeful when we found the car things would fall into place, and maybe they will. >> this interview, though, was one frank just couldn't get through. >> you know, it occurred to me i hadn't cried in a long time. i've learned how to do that. that's it. >> you try and convince yourself that there's just something wrong here, it'll all sort its way out. and you talk to yourself that she's probably in a ditch somewhere and if we just find the car and we'll pull her out or she hit her head and had amnesia or some far-fetched
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story. >> but dwrachg. >> when i saw the car, that plunged like a cut-loose elevator. because then you knew all of those rationalizations are not going to hold water. >> firefighter robert thomas helped with the arson investigation. >> you can see that the glass itself was all burned out. you can see where it's still intact over here. it was obvious to see it was more intense on the driver's side. >> meaning that's where the fire started. that's where the arsonist wanted to be sure to erase evidence, and there was also something about the driver's seat that stood out to investigators. >> when you saw that car seat pushed back, what did you think? >> a taller person had been in that car because we knew paige's height, so we knew there was a person involved with that car. >> she was little. she would have -- >> she was 5'4" yes. >> under the car, damaged skid plates, and strands of wild grass caught in the suspension.
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meaning somebody had driven offroad very recently. and after, dumped and torched the car in an industrial area just a quarter mile from where paige made her last phone call. >> it was way beyond her house, right? >> correct. it didn't fit for the car to be there. >> news of the car fire was a turning point. no longer did the public support this was a case an overwhelmed runaway mom. the response was an outpouring of volunteers. >> just seeing the dad on tv and everything like that, i have children of my own. i know what i would feel like if my children were gone and i wanted to try to help if i could. >> paige's dad was there every day, greeting a small army of volunteers. >> we were primarily looking around uranium mines that were flooded on the theory that that would be a place if you could put a person in there, it would be a place that no one would ever find her. >> thanks for helping us.
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>> you know, it's just really tough. for people to give of themselves to that degree. >> one of our moms was gone, and her kids needed her and we needed our friend. and our kids needed to know that if someone's mom is missing, people are going to work hard to find her. >> paige's brother and his wife came from seattle to help. >> the thing is, i know that somebody out there knows where she is, and we're looking for clues to find that person, but there's somebody maybe who's watching this who knows where she is. >> but this seemed odd. not helping to find paige was her ex-husband and current boyfriend, ron beigler. >> do you feel like you you wish you could go help search for her? >> a part of me does, definitely. >> what's keeping you away from
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there? >> i don't know if i can handle being -- being right in the situation. >> then, knowing we were preparing a report about the case, biegler made a strange request. >> try to keep me out as much as possible, like, just a few words here and there but i don't want to be talking about things. >> but hundreds of people, many who had never once met paige, searched on horseback, on atvs, on foot. they peered under bushes, walked mimes of desert brush in 100-degree heat, and nothing. truth be told, paige could have been anywhere. but then, four days after paige's disappearance, a driver stopped along a lonely stretch of highway 50. as he stepped out of his truck, a piece of litter caught his eye. a blank check trapped in the roadside weeds. the name on it, paige dixon, paige's married name. so then the flock of searchers
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descended on that road. >> making my way back west along the median, i saw a checkbook. it was an awful feeling of dread thinking how did this get here? why is it here? what does it mean? >> then more. paige's wallet, charm bracelet, the shoe. >> just finding those few items that we found that were hers in that part of the highway, it fueled the searchers and all of her friends like you've never seen. people kept going out over and over for 10, 12 hours a day, searching along this highway because we had found something and so we weren't going to stop until we found her. >> the discoveries continued. various cards, bank registers, and dozens of checks from both paige's personal and professional accounts, nearly 100 items spread along 13 miles of road. which left investigators with two very different theories.
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either paige's abductor was trying to throw them off track, or -- >> she was in the trunk of her car or something and dumped these items out to leave a trail. >> a new wrinkle. paige's most recent ex-husband, ron beigler, came back to town to look after the kids and help out with the search. and see reappearance stopped volunteers in their tracks because of the stories paige told while they were married. many thought him the most obvious suspect. >> she was afraid of him. >> coming up. >> 911, where is your emergency? >> my husband and i were in a fight and he was supposed to watch my the children while i went to work and he said i would come home and find them all murdered. >> what else paige told loved ones about rob dixon. >> she was afraid he'd kill her. >> when "the secret life of a soccer mom." continues. ues.
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. i'm richard lui. the u.s. attorney general asked the justice department to prioritize the prosecution of crimes on commercial flights. the faa faced an historic number of complaints, more than 5,000 just this year. this has many airports returning to pre-pandemic numbers this holiday season. the president and first lady thanked service members at a coast guard station in nantucket and spoke via satellite with members from all six military branches. back to "dateline extra." a wave of whispers spread at the speefd suspicion among the searchers looking for the single mother, paige birgfeld. the ex was in town, the most recent ex, that is, rob dixon, the one paige had all the trouble with. >> rob dixon is, i feel is too
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two different people -- friendly, funny, cordial, warm. and then he can in an instant flip to foul language, angry, i mean, you're talking 180 degrees in an instant. >> of course the relationship didn't start that way. it never does. >> at first we only saw what we referred to as the good rob side. >> that's certainly what paige only law. >> he was part of our family and we loved him as much as an in-law would be. he was a good guy to have. >> dixon had been a hard-working paramedic until his dad made a fortunate in the tech industry and passed that windfall onto his kids. not along-long after they had three kids and moved into a fine, big house. >> he had admitted to having
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over $10 million, and i think when you admit to that, you have maybe twice that much. >> and paige's parents watched him change. the whole town saw that, actually. >> in his garage, i saw three range rovers, a jaguar, two porsches, and then later he had a lemon yellow ferrari. it's not exactly what you do in grand junction. >> did he make any effort to meet you. >> the moms club would get together. they had occasions when all the families would get together, but he would never come to any of them. i never once saw him attend. >> i was so baffled how someone as upbeat and eternally happy as paige could have this grump around. >> but in hopes of promoting either good will or himself, dixon joined the grand junction fire district board and then donated a brand-new fire truck.
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his generosity made news, had locals wondering if they misjudged him. but dixon got himself in charge of fire district investments, put public money in what he said was a sure thing. it wasn't. the money vanished. >> blue life is $750,000 in bad investments. >> he was at that time the mesa county d.a. >> i made the decision to take that case to the grand jury and ultimately the grand jury decided felony stupid, but not worthy of criminal charges. >> then one day a repo man showed up for it for that shiny new fire truck he donated. >> turned out the fire truck was leased, and they came and took it away from the fire department. >> that's when frank and paige and the whole town found out
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dixon's money was gone too. >> he gave it to someone who pyramid schemed it. >> it all kept dixon on the front pages of the local paper for months. a series of public humiliations ending with an exclamation point when he was embarrassingly picked news-maker of the year. >> it was clear rob -- he was a big deal because he had a lot of money. and then to lose it and be disgraced in a relatively small community -- >> they're writing about him in the local paper. >> and i said he's taken a gigantic fall and he will change dramatically for the worse. and i think that was very predictable. and i think for rob, that's what happened. at the end, she told friends that we saw an email she was afraid he would kill her. >> he said he would kill her several times.
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>> in 2004, paige, in the midst of this downward sprierl, called 911. >> my husband and i were in a fight and he was supposed to watch my children when i went to work. and he said that i would come home and find them all murdered. >> police were dispatched, but there was no arrest. according to paige's parents, the fighting only got worse. >> it was very ugly, the psychological and emotional abuse she endured all the time. and when i was there visiting, i saw an awful lot of it. >> after a second incident, dixon was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault. >> we had a misdemeanor domestic violence case against him with paige at the victim. >> dixon pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of harassment, got a deferred sentence. the entire case, though, was later thrown out. anyway, paige filed for divorce and dixon for bankruptcy and
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moved away to philadelphia to work as an emt again. and paige did what she could to keep the kids in the only home they had ever known, that big place with the mortgage to match, close to 6 grand a month. >> she would just sit and ponder how can a single mom with three kids make enough money to stay in the house that her husband used to support? >> she sold cooking products for the pampered chef and slings for carrying babies. she taught dancing classes for little kids, anything to turn a buck, keeping track of it all in that big day planner of hers, the one that was almost an hour-to-hour record of her life. and even though he was now far away, she also kept an eye out for dixon. >> flat-out she was afraid of him. she was afraid of him coming back to town.
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she was always nervous he was going to be coming back into town. >> and sure enough, two years later in june 2007, the week before she vanished, paige got a call from dixon. said he missed the kids. said he was moving back to colorado. >> she said that she knew that rob was coming back and that he was going to do something. and i was floored. >> do something? >> what does "do something" mean? and she just said she knew something bad was going to happen. but murder did not enter my mind. kidnapping did not enter my mind. >> must have been very strange to hear that. >> it was a staggering conversation. i mean, we were just two moms with small children faced with an unknown situation. and a couple days later, she was missing.
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>> coming up, inside the wreckage of paige's burned-out car, her day planner. >> it still had the pages intact. >> inside the planner, a shock for everyone on the case. >> that was stunning. >> quite obviously it's dangerous. >> when "the secret life of a soccer mom" continues. right. (phone chimes) ♪ ♪ ♪ i jump up on the stage ♪ ♪ and do my money dance ♪ ♪ i throw some money up ♪ ♪ and watch the money land ♪ ♪ i do my, i do my i do my money dance ♪ move your student loan debt to sofi - you could save with low rates and no fees. earn a $500 bonus when you refi... and get your money right. ♪ i do my money dance ♪ with voltaren arthritis pain gel. my husband's got his moves back. an alternative to pills, voltaren is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel for powerful arthritis pain relief. voltaren, the joy of movement.
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it was a dismal clue, the trail of bits and pieces of paige birgfeld's life found scattered by the highway. but still, no paige, alive or
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dead. and now detectives had two ex-husbands to investigate. ron beigler, the last person known to have seen her alive, and rob dixon, the man she told friends she lived in fear of. >> most people believed that rob dixon had something to do with this. >> so he pops right up to the top of your list? >> absolutely. he and rob dixon both. >> as for hard evidence, it was very little, except for the investigators' little secret, the one bit of evidence they had been hiding from everyone, even the birgfelds, something by pure luck survived the car fire, paige's day planner. >> the melted dash had fallen down onto the floor, covering up the day planner, and so it was protected from the heat as well as from the fire because it had an upper layer on it. >> what sort of condition was it in? >> it was -- i mean, it was
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smoke damage and heat damage, but it still that had pages intact. >> the day planner, as you can see, still very readable, was full of appointments, plans, and contact numbers, most mundane, routine. but and this was strange, three key pages, june 26th through the 29th, the dates surrounding paige's disappearance, had been ripped out. and there was something else. one particular business card that just didn't belong for a company called ladies en confidente, an enterprise that oddly shared the same phobe with models, inc., whose cards were scattered along the highway along with her things, which appeared to support a strange story told by ex-husband, ron beigler, that paige had clients she would see. >> lonely, older married men buying companionship from a
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really intelligent woman they wanted to spend time with. >> as hard as paige tried, with the dancing classes, the baby slings, the cooking products, she simply couldn't keep up with the bills. and so paige, investigators learned, had taken on one more job. she started moonlighting as an escort. >> finding out that paige was running a rather high-class, high-quality sort of prostitution business was kind of stunning. i had no idea that took place in my jurisdiction. >> living in a very nice house and nice part of town. >> and known to a number of people that i knew. i mean, she was a soccer mom, one of my best friend's daughter played on the same soccer team as paige's kids. >> so how did paige manage to keep her escort service a secret from everybody but clients for so long? well, she went by the name carrie, selling her services through a front company she ran called models, inc., a name that
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implied intentionally that several women worked with her, when, in fact, it was just her. some friends suspected, most didn't. >> it was very hard for me to believe that she would want to have sex with men for money. >> but she did. according to this investigative report, paige would charge up to $1,000 a session. you can imagine how these revelations hit paige's mom and dad. they just couldn't believe it. >> if i had known about it, i definitely would have tried to use whatever persuasion i have to turn her away from it. if nothing else, quite obviously it's dangerous. >> so it was a shock, obviously, but they said understand her motives, after all, rob dixon's money had run out. >> she was doing what she had to do to keep life as normal as possible for the children.
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>> the news spread, of course. pretty soon most people in town knew. >> there were people who wrote to the paper and said horrible things like why are we spending this time looking for a dead hooker. >> dirt, spread by those who didn't know paige. >> we knew her heart. we knew who she was every day with us and with her kids. and, if anything, it only put us into hypervigilant defend-her mode, and made us all want to get out there and talk about what a good person she was as much as possible. >> a much bigger problem, though, was that paige's secret life made an already complicated missing person case far more difficult. >> we started looking at the phone that she was using for models, inc., and you start identifying people who had the most recent contact with her. and you came across multiple people. >> hello, you've reached models, inc., colorado's premier gentlemen's service. >> every contact, and there were
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many, was a potential suspect. here's just a sampling of her phone messages that day. >> yes, this is buddy. i was wondering if you had any girls available this afternoon. >> yeah, please give me a call back. >> this is jim, just calling to see if carrie was available tonight. >> hi, this is glenn, i'm just wondering if anybody's still available. >> i'm at the country inn, calling to see if anybody's still available for the night. >> hello, this is jim, i tried calling you last night. >> my name is dave, i was calling about the ad in the newspaper. >> i want to speak to one of our escorts. >> tell me your rate and hours and stuff like that. >> this is john. >> so they put together a list, called it possible suspects, the two ex-husbands, now joined by six of paige's clients. nothing to do but check out all of them, beginning with the last client paige called, this guy, george coralluzzo, who, the day paige disappeared, called her 19
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times. >> we're thinking that's our guy. >> i couldn't get rid of him, and he's still haunting me. >> coming up, what this woman saw. >> it just -- it hit me. >> and what she told investigators. >> he totally did this. >> when "the secret life of a soccer mom" continues. not just unpredictable relapses. all these other things too. it can all add up. kesimpta is a once-monthly at-home injection... that may help you put these rms challenges in their place. kesimpta was proven superior at reducing the rate of relapses, active lesions, and slowing disability progression vs aubagio. don't take kesimpta if you have hepatitis b, and tell your doctor if you have had it, as it could come back. kesimpta can cause serious side effects, including infections. while no cases of pml were reported in rms clinical trials, it could happen. tell your doctor if you had or plan to have vaccines, or if you are or plan to become pregnant.
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grand junction is a modern town in every way, but lift your eyes from the hum drum. watch a setting sun fire the great monument cliffs all around. and for a moment, you're in the old west. a mystique that clings to the place as do the drifters attracted to such things. young men who split their time between odd jobs and the county jail. like, for example, george coralluzzo, here from new jersey and eager to hustle a buck or a woman or whatever. >> george coralluzzo was con man, a sick person. >> megan williams nucor lose zoe because he and her then husband had partnered in a house painting business. knowing coralluzzo as she did, she was not surprised bay visit she got on july 1st, 2007. >> sheriffs came to our house and they said is george coralluzzo there? i thought they were here to talk about this kidnapping case. >> to megan, this kidnapping
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case meant one six months earlier in which coralluzzo allegedly took this woman against her will on a long scary ride across state lines. >> i spilled to them everything i knew up to that point. >> thinking you were talking about a different crime altogether. >> correct. >> deputies didn't let on, but of course they were really looking into the disappearance of paige birgfeld three days earlier. where was coralluzzo that day? well, very interesting, said megan. he'd failed to show up for work. and later that night, he offered a truly bizarre reason why. >> his family had been in an accident. and we said what kind of accident? oh, well, my brother and my sister-in-law and niece and nephew were beheaded on the turnpike in new jersey. he had to go to new jersey. he had to solidify funeral arrangements. he was sobbing and hands were flying. i don't know what i'm going to do, and just very upset. and we believed him.
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>> she told the detectives coralluzzo took the first available flight back to new jersey. and that was that. the detectives thanked her and left. didn't mention a thing about paige birgfeld. and then the very next day, megan was watching the news on tv and saw the story about the burned out car. >> her car was found ablaze in this parking lot off 23 road. >> and then i saw paige's case come across the news. and i looked at my ex-husband tim, and i said that's what happened. he murdered that woman. it just -- it hit me. >> then of course she had to know. was that wild story about a decapitating accident in new jersey just coralluzzo's excuse to run from what he had done, to get out of town? >> i scoured the internet and made phone calls. >> scoured the internet looking for evidence of a big traffic accident? nothing there. >> so who did you phone? >> i called their local gazette newspaper, talked to a reporter. nothing happened.
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i called the coroner, nothing. so the newspaper, coroner, hospitals. nothing. >> but megan was able to locate coralluzzo and pass that tip on to lead investigator beverly gerald, who would end up playing a key role. you'll hear more about her later. gerald caught up with coralluzzo in new jersey, grilled him for five hours, but coralluzzo denied everything. more important, he was in new jersey when paige's car was set ablaze. so gerald let him go. >> he didn't burn the car, doesn't that let him out? >> no. >> why not? >> because his actions lead me to believe that he did something so disgusting and vile that he had to leave grand junction and lie about his family dying. something happened. >> and there was something else, said megan. >> he told multiple people that he did something so terrible that he could never take to it the grave and he would never be forgiven. what was that besides murdering
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somebody? george was a sketchy person, and he totally did this. >> the coralluzzo she knew, she said, was cunning enough to have one of his pals help him. somebody like this guy, his best friend, jose tavara. detectives suspected that too. so they found tavara, brought him in for questioning. and what do you know? he'd recently injured his arm. >> he had a bandage on him and the cop asked me. what is that? the detective goes what happened there. i said i burned myself at work. well, are you good enough of a friend to burn a car down for george, you know. >> it with was a traumatic time what with the fruitless search for the mission mother of three, loved by so many, who turned out to have secrets, and the day planner. and voice mails and phone
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records that seemed to point eight different ways at once. two ex-husbands, and six clients. >> i don't think that i've ever seen a more difficult case in my entire career. >> one aone, the detectives cleared their suspects, tried to. ex-husband number one and current boyfriend ron beegler. >> we were able to determine that mr. beegler had been in the denver area through cell phone records. >> second husband rob dixon, the one man she said she feared. >> we were able to corroborate with his employer that he was in the philadelphia area at the time. >> and rod dixon's is off connected to a tower in pennsylvania the night paige disappeared. and three days later when he left this message on paige's phone. >> paige, if you get this, please, please call somebody. i love you. please, please, please let us know you're okay. >> still, there were caveats to
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dixon and beegler's alibis. >> that doesn't eliminate them as far as having involvement and maybe paying somebody. >> then there was the list of clients, coralluzzo at the top of it, given he didn't have a solid alibi and skipped town right after her disappearance. >> car lose zoe was the one that was most concerning. >> not to mention coralluzzo's friend, jose tavara, the one with the big burn on his arm, who swore he did not help coralluzzo by setting fire to paige's car. >> i don't care if mother teresa comes and asks me to burn the car. i tell her to go to hell. >> so they let him go too, for the moment. the other clients, hautzinger knew one of them very well, a prominent real estate investigator named steven hield. he was almost well-known as rob dixon, and like dixon, for the wrong reasons. >> the first major case i handled when i came to this jurisdiction was his multimillion-dollar fraud case.
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i prosecuted him and sent him to prison in the '90s. when he came up as a suspect in the birgfeld matter, it was interesting. >> when detectives questioned him, hield admitted he embezzled money from his company to pay for dates with page. but then he claimed paige turned the tables on him. >> he made allegations that she was essentially blackmailing him, asking for extra money. >> authorities wondered could this be a motive for murder? coming up, a startling discovery about one of paige's clients. >> i thought oh my god. >> triggers a police search. >> he had their phone numbers, bra size and whether or not they would have sex. >> strange, maybe, but did it mean anything? when "the secret life of a soccer mom" continues om" contine ♪ move your high-interest debt to a sofi personal loan. earn $10 just for viewing your rate — and get your money right.
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paige birgfeld has disappeared, leaving behind three children and a secret life as an escort. one of paige's client, steven hield told police she was blackmailing him, which seemed like a promising lead, except hield's wife supplied an alibi. they were home that night reading, watching tv. so hield seemed to be in the clear, which made it all the more shocking when after being questioned by detectives, hield attempted suicide.
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that d.a. hautzinger assumed was not guilt but shame. >> people don't really want to have it out in public that, yeah, i was patronizing a call girl. >> they checked out a drifter named john livingston, who the night paige vanished called her again and again from a motel 6, desperate, apparently, for her attention. >> this is john at motel 6, room 237. >> except there was no evidence paige ever went to see him. but then there was this client, lester ralph jones. that's him, standing in the shadow of his front door. investigators got a tip about jones from this friend of paige's named carol linderholm. paige had scheduled an appointment with jones the night before he disappeared, but for some reason didn't want to go. asked linda to meet him instead. >> he was expecting her. >> and then you showed up at his door. >> right. >> i'm sure he had some expectations, right?
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i mean, he called an escort service. >> well, he let it be known almost immediately that he wanted sex. >> linderholm said that didn't happen. instead, they talked for an hour or so, and then she left. a couple of days later, she said she called paige. >> it's carol. where the heck are you? >> got no response. >> at first i thought she was just busy and she couldn't call back. and then when i heard on the news that the kids actually went to the police department about it, that's when i knew something terrible had happened to her. >> paige, this is carol. i hope you're all right. i hope this isn't rob. oh my god. >> linderholm mentioned paige's second husband rob dixon because she knew paige was afraid of him. then the next day, linderholm heard about paige's car and the fire. >> i wanted to go over and look at it. and i arrived just in time
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for -- it was put on a platform on a trailer, and it was being hauled away. when it passed me, it just left me with this horrible feeling. >> as she drove away, something across the road caught her eye. it was a sign for bob scott rvs. lester jones had told me he worked for bob scott rv. and when i drove around, i saw a car in the parking lot that was the same one that was in the driveway when i walked up to lester jones' house. and i thought oh my god. >> right away, carol went to the sheriff's office, told them all she knew about lester ralph jones. how much credence did you give that story, or did you? >> we gave it a lot of credence. >> in fact, a week after paige disappeared, they brought jones in for questioning. >> mr. jones, i appreciate you coming down, okay? >> sure. >> jones was once chief of a rural fire department, which is where his story gets strange.
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>> i know rob. >> okay. >> rob dixon, paige's ex-husband. >> go down that road. what do you know? >> he used to be with the fire department. i met him there. >> okay. >> that was a long time ago. >> and had also met dixon's then wife paige. >> because she at one time had come up there. >> she had come to work at the fire department, you mean? >> yes. >> okay. >> and was taken aback, jones claimed when a couple of years later he went to the models inc. massage parlor and was greeted by rob dixon's ex-wife. do you know if she recognized you? >> i wouldn't -- >> do you think she would? >> i wouldn't think. >> okay. so kind of made you feel uncomfortable? >> yeah. >> but things went okay? >> yeah. >> and how often have you done business with them? >> i think twice, i think. >> while jones answered questions downtown, investigators scoured his house and bob scott rv's where he
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worked. what did you find when you searched bob scott's rv location? >> a list of names of escorts that we knew in the grand junction area where he had their names, phone numbers, bra size, and whether or not they would have sex. some viagra, also some condoms. >> along with wigs, a black bra, and in a locked cabinet, this old scale from pampered chef, one of paige's many businesses. creepy. certainly suspicious. but not necessarily incriminating. besides, jones had no reason to kill page, no motive. which led investigators to a new theory. >> i still have difficulty believing that you killed her, . >> coming up, investigators get lester ralph jones on the phone for a very strange call. >> you asked me where i would
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bury a body. >> which came out of nowhere. >> because nobody had asked him where he buried a body? >> nobody. >> when "the secret life of a soccer momentum" continues. ♪', why don't you say so?♪ ♪didn't even notice, no punches left to roll with♪ ♪you got to keep me focused, you want it, say so♪ ♪day to night to morning,♪ ♪keep with me in the moment♪ new cheetos boneless wings exclusively at applebee's for a limited time. firefighter maggie gronewald knows how to handle dry weather... ...and dry, cracked skin. new gold bond advanced healing ointment. restore healthy skin, with no sticky feeling. gold bond. champion your skin. ♪ ♪ 'tis the season to break tradition in a cadillac. don't just put on a light show—be the light show. make your nights anything but silent.
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>> detectives investigating the disappearance of paigeburg felt had a big hunch. there just had to be some connection between lester ralph jones and paige's second husband, rob dixon. >> when is your last contact with rob? >> they already knew dixon had been looking for dirt about paige, something he could use in family court as a way of getting custody of their kids. so as the cops saw it, rob dixon had the motive while lester ralph jones had the means. so maybe murder for hire. but -- big but -- they couldn't find evidence of any contact between jones and dixon before paige vanished. no phone calls. no wire transfers.
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nothing suspicious. nothing at all, really. jones himself, on the other hand, there were just too many holes in his story. for starters, no alibi the night paige went mission. and even worse, jones admitted that when paige's car was set on fire, he was at bob scott rv's, practically across the street. >> you're there. by your own admission, you're there where the fire. >> i understand that. >> tell me that. explain that. >> i can't explain it to you. >> and guess what they found at jones' work site? a discarded package that once contained a prepaid tracfone, the disposable kind that doesn't reveal the identity of the user, except on the package was the phone's serial number. >> and from that we were able to determine that the phone was bought at walmart on north avenue. >> so they got the security camera video, and well, well, well, the buyer looked a lot like lester ralph jones.
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why was that important? because someone using that particular tracfone called paige at models inc. five times the night she disappeared. >> if there is one thing that rose above all else is the video of him buying the tracfone that was used to call her that evening. >> except jones denied that was him in the video. >> i have you on video buying the tracfone at walmart. >> i didn't buy no tracfone at walmart. >> how do you explain the video? >> i don't know. there is no video. >> jones, as you can see, was unflappable. talked for five hours. and then they had to let him go. a couple of days later, a detective called jones to say his two cars which had been impounded were now free to pick up. and jones' wife answered the phone. >> hello? >> yes, may i speak with ralph, please. >> hold on, please. >> hello? >> mr. jones? >> yes, sir. >> this is art smith with the
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sheriff's office. just calling to let you know that we have both your cars ready. both of them obviously are down here at the sheriff's office right now. so are you with elaine right now? >> no. >> i'm sorry? >> i don't think so. >> mr. jones, i'm not following ya. >> you asked me if i would bury a body. >> i'm sorry? >> you asked where i could bury a body. >> which came out of nowhere, which surprised us. >> because nobody had asked him where he buried a body. >> nobody had asked him about where he buried a body. we were calling him about his vehicle. and the day before we never talked about burying the body. >> very, very strange. and most certainly interesting. when they found out why jones seemed so out of it, he had just taken an overdose of sleeping pills. after leaving for his wife what appeared to be a suicide note. my dearest love, he wrote, "i've
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parade all night and this morning. i've asked for his forgiveness. i want you to know how much i love you. you're the best thing that has happened to me. please forgive me." and then he asked added this. tell the cops this. i never did it, but i can't be railroaded. jones recovered quickly, but his actions that day remained a mystery because he wasn't talking anymore to investigators. >> the evidence was definitely pointing towards lester jones. but we still had to keep an eye open on mr. livingston, mr. hield, mr. coralluzzo. and remember that these are the ones we know about. is there somebody else out there we don't even know about yet? >> it didn't help when lab results from paige's car came back negative. the fire burned it clean of evidence. so the sheriff's office turned to a volunteer search dog team for help. and sure enough, the dogs appeared to hit on jones' scent in paige's charred car, and along highway 50 where all those
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items were found. and then they sniffed their way down this gravel lead dead ends at the gunnison river. when given paige's scent, the dogs followed exactly the same path, along highway 50, down the gravel road, into the gunnison river. so was paige's body in here somewhere? they called in divers. >> basically we go across the river about 100 feet. they let us out, we come back across the river 100 feet. basically by searching by feel, i just got out of there, and it was pitch-black at the bottom. >> but was a body down there? swept away by the river perhaps? the search which had been going on for two long months now seemed rather pointless. so at summer's end, the command post closed. >> i guess that's the only thing at this point to do because there isn't any more volunteers that are coming up. and people do have to return to their own lives. >> but that was not an option for paige's family.
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her parents rented an apartment in town and carried on the search alone. >> this is my life now. and i really wish i could get in different line of work. >> frank also kept up the pressure on investigators. >> i never worried about being their buddy. they weren't on my christmas card list and i wasn't on them. i think in many ways they disliked me because of it, adds one of advisers said, frank, if this were my investigation, i would actively dislike you. but you're doing the right thing. and i think -- >> dislike because you're a -- >> because i was pushing and prodding, so forth. >> i spent a lot of time with frank, and he was just a person who wanted to hold us accountable. now, did he get involved in things he probably shouldn't? he went out and searched on his own, but what father wouldn't. did he talk to the media a lot? he did. and at times there were times that we didn't want the release. so i think that probably caused
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a little bit of friction between sheriff's office and frank. but those are to be expected. >> reporter: the grieving father even offered a $15,000 reward, no questions asked. >> it's about 100 days. and if she is out there, we need to find her. and if this will help stimulate that, so be it. >> but no useful tips, not a one, even though frank stayed on in grand junction for a whole fruitless year. >> at some point, you have to say do i want to stay here doing this, or is it time to go back to denver? >> what was it like on the way become to denver as you realized you were leaving for good? >> i would say kind of a heaviness to it. that somewhere she's back there and i'm leaving her. >> but, while no one knew where paige was, there was one woman who had an idea as to what may have happened to her. this is lisa nance, who was
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rather briefly married once upon a time to lester ralph jones. lisa will always remember him. coming up, the ex-wife's tale. >> he looked at me and he said "i'm going to kill you." >> when "the secret life of a soccer mom" continues. you can always spot a first time gain flings user. ♪ ("this little light of mine")
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my kids really liked him. >> no doubt about it, thought lisa nance, lester ralph jones was a catch. tall, strong, a firefighter for heaven's sake, and -- >> he was a really nice person. >> really nice, huh? nice how? >> he just seems really nice and genuine and sweet. >> well, you know how people are, caught up in the blinding glare of new love. and then in a month or two or six, disturbing things begin to occur. unimagined traits emerge, and sometimes a nightmarish story, like the one lisa nance told us about lester ralph jones. >> i caught him, you know, watching me and stuff. >> what do you mean? >> like watching me where i was going and stuff like that. >> he tapped her phone, she said. he hid secret recording devices. >> i talked to any of my friends
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and i didn't tell him, he would already know that i had talked to whoever. >> it just wasn't working for lisa. she ended it. better sooner than later, she thought. and she moved on. but of course it wasn't over. one morning as she was driving her new boyfriend to work, a car drew up beside her car. it was him, jones. >> he got up beside me and he hit my car, which knocked me over into a ditch. and then he pulled up and backed up really hard and rammed my car. and it caused the air bags and stuff to go off. >> the new boyfriend took off running, but jones had a gun. >> he shot at him twice. one bullet hole went through his calve, and the other one grazed his head. >> and you were going to be next? >> i thought. i thought that. >> you must have been shaking like a leaf. >> it was scary. i asked him to put the gun down, because he had it pointed right at me, and finally he put it in the back seat, the back
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floorboard. and then i talked to him and tried to calm him down, you know. >> what was he saying to you? >> that i didn't love him anymore and i didn't want him anymore. and i was trying to convince him otherwise. >> eventually, he left. she called the police. he was arrested. but in no time made bail. and then lisa was at home a few weeks later. >> i came out of my room, and i went to the kitchen, and i turned around, and he was just sitting on the couch. just sit manage the dark. my stomach just, you know, just sank. i asked him what on earth are you doing here, you know? and he didn't say anything. and that's when i really got scared because he didn't look like himself. and he wouldn't say anything. >> he had something on his mind. ifngs. it seemed like it. i didn't know what it was. i wanted to get out of the house as quick as we could. i just wanted to get out in public, around other people. >> she said what came into her head. let's go out to dinner, and he
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agreed, got behind the wheel, started driving. but then she realized he wasn't going to dinner. he was headed out of town, towards the mountains. where are we going? >> he kept rubbing the back of my head saying it's going to be okay. >> rubbing the back you ever head? >> uh-huh. >> what sort of tone did he say? >> he wasn't being loud or yelling or anything like that. really, really quiet. >> it's a little creepy. >> i looked at him and i said we're not going eat, are we? and he looked at me and said no. i said what are we going to do? he said i'm going to kill you. and he started slapping me over and over. >> the moment had come for you. >> i thought. because all i could think about is my kids, not seeing them. but i was trying to talk to him and trying to get him to talk to me, listen to me, you know. you don't love me anymore. you don't want me. i said no, that's not true. and he's like well, then prove it. i said how. and he wanted me to make love to him in the car.
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and so i tried, but there wasn't no room. so i asked him if we could just go get a room and talk. and so finally he agreed to that. >> so what happened when you got to the -- got to town? >> he got -- we went to that motel, and he pulled in there. and he looked at me. he said you'll be waiting here when i come back. and i said yes. so he goes in. as soon as he went in that second door and he was out of sight, i took off. i started driving back toward town. and i was going really fast, hoping that someone would pull me over. and they did. and finally i told them what was happening. and then they took me back to the police station. >> some officers went to the motel to arrest jones, but -- >> they said they couldn't find him. he wasn't there. >> where was he? lisa is still shaken, still terrified, went home. and he called. >> the first thing he said was "where are you?"
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and i just hung up and i called 911. and they took me to a safe house. >> and did they catch him? what? >> no, they didn't know where to look. >> a few days later, somebody broke into lisa's mother's house in oklahoma. >> she called me later that day and said when she was leaving work, that she noticed this car was following her. and she said it was ralph, and she called the sheriff's department. and she is like he is here. he is following me. and they arrested him. my mom said she asked him what was he doing? and he said "looking for your daughter." >> lester ralph jones was convicted of assault and kidnapping and served three years. but now he was out and remarried. and by the fall of 2007, a pile of circumstantial evidence connected him to paigeburg felt's disappearance. why didn't you go arrest him? >> my job is to gather the facts and present it to the dolphins and they make that
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determination. he had to fight that battle constantly for years. >> i think you hit it. you hit it right on. >> meaning they were ready to pick up jones. but d.a. hautzinger was not. why didn't you decide to pull the pin on lester ralph jones? >> i didn't have a body. >> and that was the defining piece? >> absolutely. >> there are lots of no-body cases that go to trial. >> not a lot of no-body cases where the victim as a double life and has been lying to her family and friends. because of her double life, the possibility that the defense attorney could throw out there that she ran off with some rich client and is living on a beach in brazil or something. >> and as the years passed, paige's story went from the front of the paper to being filed away on microfiche. where was she? coming up, they were about to find out. and it would transform the case. >> now we need to make a
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critical decision. >> and then, a brand-new theory of what happened to paige. >> i think that triggered something, and something went wrong. >> when "the secret life of a soccer mom" continues. when "th soccer mom" continues. fermentation? yes, formulated to help your body really truly absorb the natural goodness. new chapter. wellness well done.
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grand junction, colorado has been a boom and bust sort of place over the years, but the great majestic cliffs are eternal. the monument they call this, guardian of the rugged and beautiful places that are drawn bikers and hikers and rafters for years, like the couple trekking through the wells gulch on march 6th, 2012. and pretty soon paige's dad got another one of those phone call, this time from a local reporter. >> and he said did you know they found paige's remains this morning? and he asked if anybody had called me, and i said you're the
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first one. >> it took time, though, to be certain it was her. >> a couple of weeks ago was verified it was in fact paige's remains. >> she was just a few miles south of the place where all those documents were found along the roadside. >> so it had to have been paige to left that trail, said police. a call for help or an arrow pointing to where to find her. and all that while restrained. they found remnants of duct tape still wrapped around her jaw. >> she wasn't killed where the car was burned. she was moved, kidnapped. so the duct tape gave us that kidnapping. >> nothing to tell you who bound her, though. >> you have to look at that, though. because tape is very good to hold forensic type evidence, a hair, a fingerprint, maybe dna. >> we really think the searchers were here to miss it. darn, how did that happen? >> probably said the detectives her killer buried her five years
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earlier, way back in 2007 when she first disappeared. and eventually what was left of her was unearthed by a heavy spring runoff. >> i guess there was the expectation that, okay, this has been a milestone. and now we might see this thing moving along. but i still didn't have any guarantees just because they found her. this is a complex case. as far as i knew, there was no direct evidence. so i wasn't sure. but it certainly was towards the investigation a positive thing. >> and so said d.a. hautzinger. >> here we go. this is what i've been waiting for. now we need to really medal to the metal and make a critical decision. >> so now, finalably a body, investigators again attempted to fashion a murder case against one of the eight possible suspects. the two ex-husbands, rob dixon and ron biegler had what looked like solid alibis with both
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their cell phones being hundreds of miles away when paige was kidnapped and killed. so that left the six clients. of course, lester ralph jones was on the top of the list. but joe coralluzzo, remember him? >> coralluzzo was the alternate suspect that gave me as the d.a. heartburn and concerns. >> that's because coralluzzo's alibi was so hard to pin down. multiple witnesses said he was partying that night at jose tavares' apartment. but what time exactly? that depended on who you spoke to. but what everybody did agree was this. coralluzzo was out of control. >> he was intoxicated. like slurring his words, you know, not being age to focus. he wouldn't have been able to murder her and then go get rid of the body. he was incapable of it. >> of course, tavara might have been lying to protect his friend. detectives wanted to talk to
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coralluzzo himself, but they couldn't find him. so they asked tavara for help. do you know where george is? i said george is dead. >> drowned the year before while swimming in a river in new jersey. still, to satisfy the d.a., investigators had to make a case that coralluzzo was either guilty or innocent. but because dead men don't talk, it meant they had to slog through seven years of reports and interviews and statements. and it was two years after paige's body was discovered, while wading through that mountain of material, an investigator stumbled on an overlooked piece of evidence that would change the whole case. it was security camera video of coralluzzo's friends, including tavar at a market the night paige disappeared. coralluzzo wasn't in the video, mind you. but the time stamp backed up the story minute by minute that tavara had been telling the
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cops, suddenly lifting his credibility and in turn helping to establish coralluzzo's whereabouts the night paige disappeared. >> that video helped to corroborate what the witness was saying. it was piecing together a timeline of where he was, where we could prove he was during the relevant window of opportunity. >> right. >> that evening and the next day when paige went missing. and by interviewing lots of different people who had been with coralluzzo, or who had talked to him, we were able to painstakingly essentially alibi him. >> hautzinger felt he finally had enough to take the case to a jury. and in november 2014, 7 1/2 years after paige vanished, police arrested lester ralph jones for her murder. but did they know the whole story now? oh, no. they certainly did not. they didn't know where or even how paige was killed.
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>> it would have been nice to have that additional piece of evidence or additional puzzle piece to put in to the story. >> it help tell the story. >> it's really the entire thing. i don't have to prove motive, for example, but i usually try to any way because the jury wants to know, why did this person do this? >> so tell us the story. what happened in your view? >> i think lester jones was obsessed with paige and she had not enjoyed her time with him and was putting him off. and i think that triggered something. that's why he got the tracfone. and something went wrong. my guess is that he physically subdued her and drove her down to where her body was found, but she was conscious and had the ability to throw some of the things out the window or the trunk or whatever it was leaving that trail going down to delta, and that she was ultimately
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killed wherever -- not far from where her body was found. >> but the defense had its own compelling story to tell. or rather stories. a separate tale for each of those alternate suspects. a waste of time? well, maybe not. remember, it takes just one juror with reasonable doubt to throw a whole case into, well, you'll see. >> coming up, at trial, the defense goes hard at the original lead detective in the case. >> did you actually receive an official reprimand for the poor quality of work you did in this case? >> maybe the case against jones never stood a chance. >> if you're doing shoddy work in the beginning, your investigation becomes sick. it's almost impossible to make it well again. >> when the secret life of a soccer mom continues.
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of separation, paige birgfeld's disappearance and murder impacted many here. if they didn't know paige personally, then they were in on the search or were a potential witness or knew somebody who was, or in the worst case, knew one of the possible suspects. so when the trial finally got under way, the town's attention was very much focused on this courtroom. >> we're on the record. 1432. >> but the trouble began before a single witness could be called. ron biegler was angry, wound up. the new district attorney, dan rubenstein was set to call paige's first husband. he was a key witness, but was afraid he might actually attack jones in the courtroom because biegler had actually threatened to kill him. >> and indicated that he wanted mr. jones to be found not guilty so that he could kill him and feed him his genitals. use of different word than that. >> proceedings ground to a
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sudden halt. biegler was hauled before the judge. >> if you have any outbursts or you do anything, an attempt to harm anybody in the courtroom, that that will result in serious consequences. >> it's been overexaggerated. taken out of context. >> reporter: chastened but insisting it was all still a misunderstanding, biegler took the stand and testified about his last day with paige. >> talked about me moving into her house here in the junction. we talked about her quitting her business. >> which business? >> the adult entertainment business. >> did you give her reasons why you wanted her to quit? >> uh-huh. >> what were the reasons you said? >> because she could get killed for one. >> the jury heard about it all. the day planner, items along the roadside, the bits of paper left along the highway. the search dogs who scented on jones. the tracfone jones bought and then lied about. and the apparent suicide note he'd left for his wife. and the jury heard that strange
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call jones had with the deputy when jones said "you asked me where i would bury a body." >> lisa nance told the jury the harrowing tale of the night jones took her into the mountains. >> and he looked at me and said i'm going to kill you. >> and there was this. >> hi, mom. it's me. i'm just wondering when you will get home. >> the prosecution played the fearful phone messages paige's then 8-year-old daughter jesse left on her mother's cell phone. >> love you, bye. >> and here was jess today, a senior in high school, but still able to give a child's perspective of a very loving mother. >> she was pretty much typical soccer mom. she -- we did everything with her. we all slept in the same bed with her. and we always went shopping together. and she took us to all of our soccer games and to school. she provided us with everything that we needed, whatever that may have been.
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>> a procession of witnesses that lasted for weeks, and the defense team's response? that this was all so much show to distract from a shoddy investigation that focused on jones from the start, despite the lack of any physical evidence. >> do solemnly swear. >> and they drove that theory home by boldly calling former lead investigator beverly gerald. remember her? she was in charge of the investigation and all those detectives from the beginning. >> good afternoon. >> yet was never called to testify for the prosecution. perhaps for good reason. >> would you agree, investigator gerald, that you made some mistakes in this investigation? >> yes. >> okay. has it come to your attention that you did in fact forget to book in a few recordings into evidence? >> yes. >> gerald admitted reports had gone unwritten and evidence was actually lost, like jose
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tavara's first police interview. >> and did you actually receive an official reprimand for the poor quality of work you did in this case. >> i don't remember that. >> you don't remember getting a major disciplinary action because you kept evidence from this case in your office? >> in writing? no. >> gerald said her memory has been fuzzy since a 2010 horse riding accident, something that happened three years after the slip-ups on the birgfeld case. and then came the ultimate suspect, the guy who called paige from that motel 6. >> and in that storage unit, you had numerous guns, right? >> i did have. >> this former client, who allegedly discussed killing paige. >> did you tell ms. whalen that you had killed ms. birgfeld by putting her through a wood chipper? >> no, ma'am. somebody said something did you do this to paige or did you murder paige. i said just out of context, had
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i, they wouldn't find her because i'd have used the wood chipper. and it was totally out of context. >> the client who admitted embezzling his company's money to pay paige. >> did you kill ms. birgfeld? >> no. >> are you responsible for her disappearance? >> absolutely not. >> and then the defense went after jose tavara, who admit head was so tight with coralluzzo, he would have done just about anything for his friend. >> including burning a car to help him if he needed that done? >> i wouldn't do that. >> you wouldn't do that? >> not that. >> that's the one thing you couldn't do. >> yeah. >> megan williams told the jury she was sure the killer was really coralluzzo. >> he was a pathological liar, and anything that came out of his mouth was a lie, and any story that he made up was made up. >> so many suspects, said the defense. and they put on a retired detective to accuse the police of tunnel vision. >> because if you're doing shoddy work in the beginning and you're not paying attention to all the details and all of the
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information and vetting all of the leads, your investigation becomes sick. it's almost impossible to make it well again. >> as for forensic evidence, said the defense, forget about it. they called an expert to say there is no way a dog can follow a month-old scent. >> my opinion is that's not possible. >> if true, that meant there was no proof jones had ever been in paige's car or along the highway where her belongings were found. by the end of the six-week trial, the jury had heard from more than 100 witnesses, testifying about a nine-year investigation involving multiple suspects. so it wasn't surprising during deliberations the jury came back with one question after the other. prosecutor dan rubenstein. >> started to get worried, and the question popped into my mind, is it possible to ever convince 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt unanimously as to an answer on this case? and i started to worry about that. >> please rise.
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>> on day three, the judge called the jury into his courtroom to ask -- >> is there a likelihood of progress towards a unanimous verdict? >> after getting this far, was the prosecution's case coming undone? coming up, jurors speaking out. saying the case went wrong from the start with the original lead detective. >> she just bobbled me when i don't remember, i don't know. and you're a lead investigator? >> when "the secret life of a soccer mom" continues. t life of soccer mom" continues. o man, that's a whole lot of wrinkly at least my shoes look good! looking good start with bounce wrinkleguard, the megasheet designed to prevent wrinkles in the dryer. (burke) with farmers auto multi-policy discount, the more policies you have with us, the more you could save on your auto insurance. (man) hey, hon! (wife) hi, honey! (man) like what? (burke) well, you'd get a discount for insuring your jet skis... and ...home and more. you could save up to forty-five percent. (man) that's a whole lot of discounts. (burke) well, we offer coverage for a whole lot of things, and you
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by day three of deliberations, the jury sent word to the judge they were deadlocked. >> is there a likelihood of progress toward a unanimous verdict? >> no. >> no? all right. thank you. >> reporter: the judge ordered them back to deliberate further. but of course there was concern. >> they won't make another effort considering their opinions further. if they are unable to make a verdict we'll declare a mistrial
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and reset the trial. >> reporter: less than two hours later, another message from the jury. >> it states as follows, the jury remains in the same position, period. we are not unanimous in our decision, period. we do not feel any further discussion will change our current state, period. >> reporter: and that was it. the judge had no option but to declare a mistrial. minutes later, paige's dad, frank, tried to keep it positive. >> listen. if we hadn't had a trial, it would have been a problem. this was a massive effort. it was well done. i am grateful they gave us a shot at it. >> reporter: but like so many times in the past, frank's facade cracked just a bit, and the pain slipped through. >> at the end, they showed a nice picture of paige. that all kind of came down. >> in my heart, i believed he was guilty. >> reporter: a handful of jurors
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spoke to us afterward to explain how the trial played out for them. this man, william sullivan, voted guilty. >> because of the evidence, you know. nobody has that bad of luck in one week. >> reporter: and this man was disturbed by the lead investigator's testimony. >> she boggled me on the stand, i don't remember, i don't know. whatever. and you are a lead investigator? they should have replaced her immediately. >> reporter: still, he voted guilty. but there were others, three all told, who couldn't overcome their doubts. one of them was bobby santa bria who spoke for the three dissenters. >> there was not enough evidence for them to get past a reasonable doubt. >> reporter: prosecutor dan rubenstein said, in a way, he understood. >> the biggest weakness of the case, in my opinion was, there were no eyewitnesses that placed him with miss birgfeld that night.
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and we didn't know exactly how she was killed. >> reporter: he conceded defense did an admirable job protecting jones. >> they think the point they were trying to make is a good one, it could be anyone. it could be somebody we never thought of. >> reporter: so the seasons slipped by and now with the leaves gone and snow falling, a retrial. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. >> reporter: with time and money tight, all knew this would be rubenstein's last shot at jones. another mistrial would be just as good as an acquittal. >> do you solemnly swear -- >> reporter: and so it all played out as before. >> you have a track record of being dishonest? >> yes. >> reporter: the same witnesses. >> did you kill her? >> no, ma'am. >> reporter: the same testimony. >> i have never been able to run a dog on a trail that is a month old. >> reporter: the same alternate suspects. >> in your opinion did the sheriff's office conduct on objective investigation? >> no. >> reporter: the same closing argument from the defense.
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>> this man is innocent, and he stays that way unless these people can convince you otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt. >> reporter: but what was different this time is rubenstein's closing argument. taking the alternate suspect seriously, he went after each theory, one by one, with attitude. >> and to think that somebody who is so drunk that three different people have to cart them around, who is probably also on cocaine is capable of doing this, carefully doing it, and then going back and cleaning it up carefully with a car fire that is specifically targeted to get the evidence, to tear pages out of a day planner. does this sound like george at all? no. >> reporter: but would that make a difference to this new jury? few thought so. so, while deliberations went on from one day to the next, paige's parents braced themselves. >> i think there's a reasonable chance it could be another mistrial. if it is a mistrial, i suspect jones will walk out a free man.
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>> reporter: and just as in the first trial, the jury deliberated for three days before sending a note to the judge. >> please be seated. >> reporter: but this time, there was a verdict. we, the jury, find the defendant lester ralph jones guilty of count one, murder in the first degree. >> reporter: the jury also found jones guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping. the judge sentenced him to life without parole for the murder and additional 12 years for second-degree kidnapping. jones filed an appeal. what was it like? >> a relief, knowing that people agreed with what we thought and felt that despite some of the errors throughout the trial we made there was enough information to convict lester jones. >> when the verdict came in i think we were supposed to feel elated. like the home team kicked the field goal with two seconds left
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and we just won. and to be honest, i didn't feel that. there were no winners in this case. none of this brings paige back to us. >> what about you? >> this is about paige. this is about paige who has been gone and will not be able to come back to her friends, her brother, her parents, her kids. >> reporter: who moved to pennsylvania, as they have since paige first vanished. the birgfelds tried to get custody, but the court ruled in favor of the father rob dixon. it's been the book of job for you two. >> just trying to get back to our normal lives. and we won't. we never will be what we were ten years ago. it's changed i think each of us, but we're working at trying to get back to normal. >> reporter: or something like it. >> a big word that always hangs over the room is closure.
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and i'm not sure what that means. >> paige birgfeld was kidnapped. >> reporter: there were difficult moments for them during the murder trial. like the first time they heard the frightened voice mail messages of their grandchildren. >> hi, mom. you said you would be back last night and you are not back today. bye. >> and i would tell you that was the hard part. >> that was the hardest for me. >> there is almost a recognition that you are in trouble, please don't be in trouble. please come home to us. >> reporter: and then there was the day planner when the sweet, mundane details of paige's life and those of her children were made real once more. the family night, soccer games, the dance recitals and birthday parties and library visits, they were all there. the precious, chaotic rhythms of a family that once was. proof that there was a time when all was as it should be.
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proof, also, that time is gone, forever. she was brave. she was incredibly brave. why didn't i know that she needed me and that she was alone and that she was hurt? nothing was the same after that. nothing. >> they found her at the soccer field why the straight arrow student killed by a single bullet. >> i just hit the floor. >> i remember the pain. every time i talk about it the pain comes like rushing back. >> that someone would shoot my child.


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