Family Of Paige Birgfeld Tells Sheriff's Office to Turn Case Over to CBI, Asks FBI to Investigate Possible Tampering

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Frank Birgfeld, the father of missing Grand Junction woman Paige Birgfeld, sent a letter this week to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, telling them to turn the case over to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The request comes after Birgfeld asked the FBI to investigate the Sheriff's Office for possible tampering in his daughter's case.

Although it's been nearly two years since his daughter Paige was first reported missing, Frank Birgfeld says he has remained steadfast in his mission.

"My concern is finding my daughter, number one, and number two, having some justice done towards the perpetrator," said Birgfeld.

But he says to make sure he can see that mission through, some things need to change.

"I think the major issue is whether there has been some aspect of the investigation that has been tainted," said Birgfeld. "And if so, whether that would not have significant potential to cause the case to fail at trial."

On May 11, Birgfeld wrote a letter to Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey, saying, "The purpose of this letter is to order you to transfer the investigation and all evidence gathered to date of the disappearance and homicide of Paige Birgfeld from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation."

In the letter, Birgfeld goes on to explain this is because he has asked the FBI Public Corruption Unit to launch an investigation into missing money from his daughter's home.

"I would believe that will set off a negative bias towards the investigation and warrant, I think, by itself the need to have someone else take it over," said Birgfeld.

Birgfeld says as he and his family looked more into Paige's secret life as an online escort, he came to learn she dealt with significant amounts of cash never reported or put into her accounts. He says Paige's friends told him she had a hiding place in her house where she kept some of her money. Another witness told him Paige was considering a business transaction where she had offered to throw down $80,000 in cash.

"Finally we discovered a place that we think was the hiding place where she could've kept cash and have access to it," said Birgfeld.

But Birgfeld says he and his family never found that cash.

After "48 Hours" reported in June of 2008 that a source close to the investigation revealed to them money had been seized during a search of her home, Birgfeld went to Sheriff Hilkey. Birgfeld says Hilkey told him he was surprised by that claim and that no money was ever taken by deputies because no forms had been filled out documenting it.

"That's a pretty shallow investigation, I think, on his part," said Birgfeld.

In his letter, Birgfeld says, "This action was initiated after my waiting a considerable time for you to make an appropriate investigation of your own."

Sheriff Hilkey declined an on-camera interview, but did release a lengthy statement about the letter saying in part, "MCSO would welcome and encourage such an investigation and would make all employees, evidence, and other aspects of this case open for review by the FBI."

Hilkey also says, "It is unfortunate that Mr. Birgfeld has chosen to make unfounded allegations. However, it does not dissuade this office from its commitment or desire to successfully resolve the Paige Birgfeld case, nor will his complaints ever cause any lapse in professional ethics or integrity by any member of this agency."

Birgfeld has also asked the Colorado Attorney General's Office to assign a Special Master to take control of all the evidence, should anyone in the Sheriff's Office become upset by his request to transfer the case.

Sheriff Hilkey says, "Mr. Birgfeld's concerns amount to further allegations of corruption that does not exist in the MCSO," but that he welcomes any requests from the Attorney General's Office to "calm Mr. Birgfeld's unfounded fears."


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