It has been almost a year since Grand Junction woman Paige Birgfeld was first reported missing. But friends and family say they haven't given up hope that they'll find her. Now that the snow has melted, and Paige's estate has been sold, they say the time to start searching again is now.
"We talked about how weird it felt to wake up this morning," said Andrea Land, a friend of Paige. "It almost felt like we were waking up a year ago."
Land, a member of the Mom's Club Paige Birgfeld started, says not a day goes by that she doesn't miss her friend. She and other members of the club began searching with the Abby & Jennifer Recover Foundation last July after Paige was first reported missing.
When she heard that a new search was taking place, she says she didn't have to think twice about lending a helping hand.
"It was a relief to be able to come out and do something because the waiting has been hard," said Land.
No one knows that better than Paige's father, Frank Birgfeld. He says he hasn't stopped searching since day one, and that he won't stop until he finds his daughter.
"This is my life now," said Frank Birgfeld. "I really wish I could get in a different line of work."
Saturday morning, Frank and dozens of volunteers gathered at Canyon View Park before spreading out across the Grand Valley to look for her. This time around, Frank says they have a new strategy.
"We're trying to back track in some areas we've already looked at," said Frank Birgfeld. "We've seen some holes and some things, and we want to make sure that where we covered was all done."
So crews searched in the brush, along canals, and in wood piles, keeping an eye out for anything that might have overlooked. But just because nothing big turned up during their latest efforts, they say it doesn't mean they're ready to stop searching anytime soon.
"Even if we find one hair from her head and that gives us closure and is the evidence to prosecute someone, it's worth this time," said Land.
Crews say the one good thing that came from Saturday's search is that they're able to narrow down the list of places where Paige could still be.
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