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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A jury has found Lester Ralph Jones of Grand Junction guilty in the 2007 murder of Paige Birgfeld, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said.

Officials say Jones, 65, was found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and second-degree kidnapping.

Jones was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

This was the second trial in the case. In September, a jury could not reach a unanimous verdict and the judge declared a mistrial at that time.


Birgfeld, the mother of three, was last heard from on June 28, 2007. Investigators found her car on fire in a parking lot three days later, about two miles from her home.

Her skeletal remains were not found until 2012 when they were discovered by hikers in a dry creek bed near the Mesa-Delta county line.

Birgfeld managed the escort service Models Inc. and it’s believed Jones was a client of Birgfeld’s.