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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  April 24, 2022 11:00pm-1:00am PDT

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damages against kevin for the life insurance paid outs received after lisa's death. releases daughters, it was another measure of justice. but it was small solace for the loss of someone so priceless. >> that is all for this edition of dateline. i'm natalie morales. thank you for watching. you for watching >> paige, this is carol. i just 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 ok. paige was a woman with a premonition. >> we found out she had this second life. >> quite obviously it's dangerous. >> she had been playing a risky game. >> that opened up the door to
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the a multitude of people that we needed to start looking at. >> he was a scam artist. >> correct. >> he was a liar, manipulative. >> he a list of names -- >> could investigators get their man before he struck again? >> i turned around and he was sitting in the dark. and said i'm doing to kill you. it's been years since she vanished but few have forgotten paige, how could they, the story of the young mother's disappearance has wove itself in to local lore, as thunder hits, finally a trial. >> what he told me is that he
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knew how to get rid of a body so that nobody could find it. >> he said that i'm going to kill you and then he slapped me repeatedly. >> finally rumors and gossip would be dispelled or made fact. and the secrets known not only by the guilty but also about shame will finally be revealed. why so many secrets, whispers, rumors? because in this town, where everyone knows everybody else's business, there were enough potential suspects to fill a minivan. >> do you have anything to do with the disappearance of paige birgfeld? >> i was put under psychiatric care for 48 hours and then sent to jail. >> i did not kill paige, that's the bottom line. >> it was late june 2007, and
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news of paige's disappearance spread like the morning sun. frank birgfeld was driving to his office and the phone range. >> vice on the phone said, this is somebody with the mesa -- breaking news tonight the ukrainian border with secretary of state anthony blinken -- and are speaking after their meeting in kyiv with ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy. let's listen. >> for the ukrainian government, and for the ukrainian people. this was in our judgment an important moment to be there. an important moment for ukraine, for the war, an important moment to have a face to face conversations in detail about the extraordinary support that
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we provided, security, economic, humanitarian, and the massive pressure we have been exerting on russia. to talk in detail about how we carry that forward, across all of those fronts. i would say that without putting words in his mouth, president zelenskyy expressed deep appreciation for president biden's leadership, and for the incredible generosity and support of the american people. in turn, we expressed deep admiration for his leadership, for the extraordinary courage of ukrainians in standing up to and pushing back the russian aggression. part of our commitment going forward involves a number of things that i was able to share with president the landscape yesterday, including the return of american diplomats do ukraine starting next week. including president biden's -- intent to nominate --
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ambassador someone i served with a long time, deeply experienced in the region will be a very strong representative for the united states in ukraine. we had an opportunity as well to talk about where this goes from here, with the success that ukraine has had it is also true that russia continues to try and brutalized parts of the country, and the death and destruction that we continue to see is horrific, but ukrainians are standing up, they are standing strong, and they are doing that with the support that we have coordinated from literally around the world. the strategy that we have put in place, massive support for ukraine, massive pressure against russia, solidarity with more than 30 countries engaged in these efforts is having real results, and we are seeing that
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when it comes to russia, russia's failing, ukraine is exceeding. russia has sought as its personal aim to totally subjugate ukraine. to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. that has failed. it sought to assert the power of its military, and it's economy, we have course are seeing just the opposite. the military that is dramatically underperforming, an economy as a result of sanctions, as a result of a max exodus from russia that is in shambles. and, it's not a divide the west, and nato, of course we are seeing exactly the opposite. we are more united than i ever see, and new country is considering applying for membership. the bottom line is this, we don't know how the rest of this war will unfold, but we do know that a sovereign independent ukraine will be around a lot longer than vladimir putin is on the scene. our support for ukraine going
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forward will continue, it will continue until we see final success. secretary? >> good morning, and first of all let me echo why secretary blinken has said in terms of the characterization of -- it was very productive meeting, very engaging session. we were very happy to have that opportunity, so during the meeting we expressed our deepest condolences to the president for the loss of so many civilians and of course the loss of those courageous troops that have done just a magnificent job of pushing back russian forces. we also express our admiration for their professionalism, and for their commitment to defend their democracy. it has been extraordinary to watch, i think everybody would agree with me there. i agree with secretary blinken,
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the president did express his deep appreciation along with minister of defense and chief of defense, they are deep appreciation for what the american people have continued to do to ensure that we get as much assistance as possible as quickly as possible. our focus in the meeting was to talk about those things that would enable us to win the current fight, and also built for tomorrow. again, a very productive discussion. we talked about security forces assistance, we talked about training, we also talked about key things that we are going to discuss in the session that i will conduct tomorrow with a number of ministers of defense and chiefs of defense. this nation is focused on doing things to generate additional
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capability, capacity for ukrainian forces. and so, it is a great opportunity to get a good update from the minister of defense, from the president on the things they are focused on, the things that they need that will enable us to have a more productive discussion with the administration of defense tomorrow. >> secretary austin, secretary blinken, i'm just wondering if you could tell us what you saw during your visit to kyiv on your journey on the way to kyiv and white -- and ukrainians outside the government and what did they tell you? for either of, you do you see a scenario where the international support enables ukraine to avoid losing this war to russia, but is the able to fully expel russian forces or through victory, and how would you think about such a scenario, thanks? >> happy to start. in terms of what we saw we took
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a train into kyiv and southwestern pollen and didn't see a lot of train windows on the way in and in kyiv itself we went right through the presidential palace we spent about three hours with president zelenskyy and his senior team. that was the entire focus of our visit we wanted to focus on the work that needed to be done in looking at the game plan that we have, power moving forward across all these different lines of effort. that was the entire focus. there wasn't much of an opportunity to talk to average ukrainians. we certainly saw people on the streets of kyiv evidence to the fact that the battle for kyiv was one and there is what looks like from the surface at least, to be normal life in kyiv. but that is in stark contrast to what is going on in other parts of ukraine in the south and east, where the russian brutality is doing horrific things to people every single day. in terms of wars won and lost i come to the proposition that in terms of russia's war aims,
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russia has already failed. ukraine has already succeeded. the principal aim that president putin has brought to this in his own words was to -- take away sovereignty and independence, and that has not happened. clearly will not happen. where are the -- how much death and destruction continues, obviously that is a deep concern. we want to do everything we can to help the ukrainians bring this to an end on the best possible terms as quickly as possible. much of the work we are doing enabling them to strengthen their hand both on the battlefield right now, but eventually at a negotiation if there is one. >> i agree with secretary blinken we were focused on the conduct of the meeting and engaging this senior leadership. so we didn't get a chance to do any walkabouts or engage civilians or citizens on the way in we did look like things were beginning to come back to normal. it was easter day, so in kyiv,
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so certainly a number of people would have been our home and not on the street. in terms of their ability to win, the first up and winning is believing you can win. they believe they can win. we believe they can win if they have the right equipment, the right support, we want to do everything we can and continue to do everything we can to ensure that happens. so we are engaged with the job, engaged with the minister of defense, and as this fight evolves their needs will change. so as those needs change, we are going to be responsive to wet -- believe they -- >> secretary austin, i have a question about a deliveries. how are you tracking the stingers and javelins and the
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sensitive weapons we are seeing more images of those weapons falling into the hands of russian-backed forces in donbas, do you have a plan to track those weapons and in terms of humanitarian aid, secretary blinken, there is an article in the boston globe today quoting a usa today i.d. official saying the billion dollars -- usa idea counts and many of the aid that is -- strategic failure, how do you plan to fix this problem? >> the first part of the question, thanks for that question, in terms of our ability to track the weapons that are going in, as you know we don't have any forces on the ground. so that is difficult for us to do. we do have very good discussions with both -- the president and the minister of defense on the necessity to make sure that those weapons are -- as best possible to make sure
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that they are protected from falling in the hands of adversaries. now when you are in a fight, as you know, if a specific battle is lost then you have less control over that ability to control. but they are focused on this issue, and they know we are concerned about, it and we will continue to engage. >> and, jennifer, in terms of the humanitarian assistance, hundreds of billions of dollars in assistance has already gotten in not only to ukraine, and -- this is made. if you are here in a few, hours it won't be here, it will be on the plane on its way. on his way to ukraine and it is dispersed throughout the country. we have had the tough conversations with our ukrainian partners about making sure that once the assistance gets into ukraine that is dispersed as secretary of defense were saying about the weaponry, in an effective way.
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and if there are bottlenecks, there are challenges, that we are working through them. when i'm seeing at least, is that it is getting here and other distribution points it is getting out the door incredibly quickly. again, this was going to look different five or six hour surrounded us right now. thank you so much, secretary, have you mentioned keeping aggressive about what the ukrainians need. we see now, certainly, 105 milliliters -- what did president zelenskyy say he needs next? after secretary blinken, i understand you may have spoken with the un secretary general about visits. what is the tragedy for engage in -- or for his engagement to see into this thing? >> you've heard us talk, or say in the past, the recent past, the nature of the fight has a vault because the terrain that they are now focused on is a different type of terrain. so, they need long range fires.
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you've heard them express the need for tanks. and we are doing everything that we can to give them the types of support, the types of artillery, ammunition that could be effective in this stage of a fight. so, we will get a chance. we have done a lot. as you have seen, what we have done here in the recent past with 800 million opposition provided by the president provide just to give -- hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery. and we are also engaging our colleagues in other countries for the same type of capability. and we see indications early on that there are going to be many countries coming forward and provide additional ammunitions and houses. we are going to push as hard as we can, as quickly as we can to get them within need. this will be a great topic of
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conversation for a meeting tomorrow if we go on the ramp side. >> and, in terms of the subject that i spoke to on friday, he is heading to moscow earlier this week. our expectation is that he's going to carry a very strong and clear message. which is the need to end this war now. we need to cease fire, for aid to get in, for people to be able to get out. the need for russia to stop its brutal -- on ukraine. it is a clear direct message that you should be carrying on behalf of virtually the entire international community. >> john? >> are you the finding america's goals for success any different from ukraine than what you were the beginning of this work? if so, what are those rules today? >> do you want to? i'll just start at all let secretary of state give his thoughts. he has already kind of indicated, in the first speech of this, we want to see ukraine
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remain a sovereign country, democratic country able of protecting its sovereign territory. we want to see russia weaken to the degree that it cannot do the kind of things that it has done in invading ukraine. it has already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly. we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability. we want to see the international community war united, especially nato. and we are seeing that. and, number one, president biden. but also our allies and partners who willingly leaned into this as we've imposed sanctions. as we move very rapidly to demonstrate that we want to defend every inch of nato. >> i think he said it very well. >> mister secretary, were you
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able to offer presidents ellen ski any idea about the timing of the reopening of the embassy in kyiv? not simply the return to diplomats in lviv. and, for both of you, president zelenskyy, when he leaked that you guys were going there on saturday and said please don't come with empty hands. you obviously did not go with empty hands. but did you get the sense that he is satisfied with what it was that you did bring? >> that, in terms of the embassy, we will have american diplomats back in ukraine starting next week. they will then start the process of looking at how we actually reopen the embassy itself. in kyiv, that will take over a couple of weeks, which will be my expectation. we are doing it deliberately, carefully with the security in
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line. but we are doing. it and, with regard to president zelenskyy, again, without wanting to characterize him too much, i can just repeat what i said aerial. he expressed both of us deep and repeated excruciating both the leadership and generosity of the american people. he said, lloyd, the united states has been ukraine strongest supporter. something that they won't forget. and, look, we never come empty-handed. as the secretary of defense said, this is an ongoing process where we have been from day one. because, remember, the initial drawdown that president biden ordered, go back to labor day. months before the aggression. we want to make sure that if russia pursued the aggression, the ukrainians had the tools they needed to stop and push back. that's exactly what happened. thanks to their courage. but also, thanks to their equipment that they had in hand
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before the war started. they were able not to do that. but, as the secretary said this is been evolving. so, the nature of our assistance and the assistance that we're getting from others have been evolving. >> and you would expect, he did express gratitude to the american people, allies and partners for what they have done from the very beginning and continue to do. but he is in a fight. while he is grateful for all the things he's doing. he is also focused on what he thinks he needs next in order to be successful. again, they have the mindset that they want to win. we have a mindset that we want to help them win. and we will do that. now, in terms of specific types of things that we were able to discuss and kind of lay out, we reminded them that, thursday, president biden signed a drawn out -- and on saturday, the howard's
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were shown up on that job out package. it is due to the hard work of the men and women who are working day in and day out to do the kinds of things that they are doing. but we are going to remain focused on giving him what he needs to be successful in the future. and that is what you expect. you expect him to say thanks. but he is really grateful. let's focus on what needs to be done. we'll get a chance to talk some more about that. i look forward to that meeting. >> thank you very much. >> we have been listening to secretary of state, anthony blinken and austin lloyd about their visit to kyiv. they took a train from poland into kyiv and spent about three hours meeting with ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy. discussing the support and what the united states has been doing. the, volodymyr zelenskyy, they said, was giving deep appreciation of the american
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people. while the u.s. is saying we are in admiration of their leadership and courage for the ukrainians. anthony blinken to discuss the fact that brigitte brink is going to be, possibly, the ambassador to ukraine. and president biden will be hopefully making that assessment today. she will still have to be approved by the u.s. senate. that announcement will be coming out later today for bridget brink. also, he announced that the diplomats would be returning to ukraine. they will be coming until of even later, possibly having the u.s. embassy back in kyiv. a very interesting conversation with both leaders this cussing how ukraine has their strategy, solidarity and moving forward with this. as well, how they have moving so strongly behind the ukrainians. and they are committed to having a sovereign -- in ukraine. let's get to raf sanchez, he is
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live for us with more details. rough, what can you tell us? >> dara, this was a trip planned in utmost secret. it was a meeting planned in utmost secrecy. they met with president zelenskyy for three hours in his bunker at the presidential palace. and this was a trip about what's symbolism and substance. the symbolism is clear. these are two very senior members of president biden's cabinets. they are coming to this country as the first face to face meeting with president zelenskyy since the russian invasion began. secretary blinken said it was important to have this conversation face to face for everybody to be able to express what they were thinking. to talk this stuff out. but, substance also, lincoln said he did not come there with andy hands. three deliverables as the state department likes to call them. the first as you'd like to
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mention, president biden, will, in the coming hours nominate a u.s. ambassador to ukraine. that is bridget brink. she is the current u.s. ambassador of slovakia. she is a career diplomat. and dara, interestingly, this is assuming she is confirmed by the united states senate, the first full ambassador to ukraine since 2019. when marie upon of itch, you'll remember, was forge stout by donald trump and rudy giuliani. the victim of that spirit campaign. they will begin returning to this country starting next week. they will take baby steps, first teared to the relative safety of lviv. and, eventually reopening the american embassy in kyiv. this is something president zelenskyy has wanted to see for a long time. this is probably not as fast as he would like it to go. the united states is quite far behind the europeans on. this the british are reopening their embassy and keep, this week. some of the european embassies never closed. the third, deliverable, they
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are announcing some $700 million in military financing. now, the vast majority of that is going to ukraine. but some of it is also going to other central and eastern european american partners. the idea is to finance this new fight in the east along that 300 mile front in the donbas. this is going to pay the american, -- but also for those soviet-era small arms. which are the bread and butter of what ukrainian military is using every day as they try to resist this russian occupation. now, it is interesting, u.s. officials said that they were basically no hard feelings about the fact that this was supposed to be a top secret trip. but presidents ellen ski announced it in front of the world's media before blinken and austin got there. u.s. officials say it is his country, he can say what he wants. it did not affect the plans.
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by trade from poland -- the secretary did not leave the palace. we saw boris johnson, the british prime minister going on a walk in central kyiv, shaking hands with ukrainian civilians. that was not the case for the american civilians. this was all business for several hours. secretary blinken said the bottom line here is that a sovereign ukraine will be around a whole lot longer than vladimir putin. , and he said at this point, two months into this war, ukraine is succeeding. russia is failing. russia is failing to decapitate the ukrainian government. they are failing to make significant in vance is in the east. they are failing to cut this country into pieces to try divided's russian speakers and to try and put east against the west. this is a country, as we've seen over the last few weeks, very united, very determined to
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resist this russian invasion. secretary of defense austin was asked, can the ukrainians actually win this war? it is one thing to prevent them from losing. but can they actually win? can they force vladimir putin's troops out of their territory? and, the defense secretary said that the first step to winning is believing you can win. and everything we have seen on the battlefield, everything he said he heard from the leadership of the ukrainian government and military suggest they believe they can win. and they are absolutely determined to fight off. dara? >> rough, it's interesting that you talk about the symbolism and the uptick. of course, they are having this press conference with cargo and things behind it. they are going through to the ukrainian people. how is that supply chain working? are these things actually getting to the places where they need to be? i think getting to the civilians? are they getting to the fighters? what do we know about that?
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>> so, u.s. officials said the first promise to american howitzer cannons have arrived in ukraine today. we know that some of the ammunitions that were promised in president biden's aide, 8 million hundred dollar aid package, was supposed to arrive over the weekend. a crucial part of that, 144,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, the ukrainians have said over and over and over again that thing that they need the most badly as it shifts to a world war ii in the eastern front is artillery. now, 144,000 rounds that sounds like an awful lot. at the current temple of fighting, that will last about three weeks, dara. now, that is not a long time. but that is an absolutely crucial stopgap as the ukrainians tried to hold their lines in the east. you heard secretary blinken there, being asked about reports that some funds
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allocated for usaid for humanitarian aid have not yet made out the door. they have not even reached usaid. he insisted that, given the scale of this operation, a pretty smooth running pipeline. you pointed some of the cargo behind him in that facility. he said to the reporters, if you stay there, it will be on his way to ukraine. dara? >> rough sanchez, live from lviv. thank you. appreciate your time. tough as we've been mentioning, anthony blinken and lloyd giving a press conference they met with volodymyr zelenskyy. we will have more details of that day. stay with us on msnbc. i'm dara brown. now, back to dateline. k to dateline.
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-- the acts was in town, the most recent acts that is rob dixon. one page had all the trouble with, of course the relationship didn't start off that way, it never does. -- >> first we only saw the good, side that is why paige always saw. he was part of our family and we loved him as much as -- he was a good guy to have. >> he had been a hardworking paramedic and until is that made it one time fortune in >> vice on the phone said, this -- >> he had admitted to having over $10 million. and i think when you admit to that, you have maybe twice that much.
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>> 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. if you've been to grand junction and you want to fit in, a lemon yellow ferrari is not exactly what you do. >> did he make any effort to meet you or the other guys? >> the mom's club would get together, they would have 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. his generosity made news and locals wondering if they'd misjudged him. but, soon it turned to dust. dixon got himself in charge of fire
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district investments, put public money in what he said was a sure thing. it wasn't. the money vanished. >> blew -- i -- as i recall about $750,000 in bad investments for the fire district. >> pete hautzinger 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's stupid, but not worthy of criminal charges. >> then one day a repo man showed up for that shiny new fire truck dixon had donated. >> it 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 dixon's money was gone, too. >> he gave it to someone who pyramid schemed it. >> the missing money, the
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repoed truck, the grand jury investigation, 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 newsmaker of the year. >> it was clear rob, he was a big deal'cause 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 has taken a gigantic fall and he will change dramatically for the worst. " and i think that was very predictable and i think for rob that's what happened. >> at the end, it was almost always bad rob that we were dealing with. >> she told friends and we saw an e-mail, she was afraid he'd kill her. >> he said he would kill her several times. >> in 2004, paige, in the midst of this downward spiral, called 9-1-1. >> 911. where is your emergency? >> my husband and i were in a
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fight -- he was supposed to watch my children while 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, you know, very ugly, the psychological, emotionally abuse that she endured all the time. and when i was there visiting, i saw an awful lot of it. >> after a 2nd incident, dixon was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault. >> we had misdemeanor domestic violence case against him with paige as the victim. >> dixon pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of harassment and got a deferred sentence. the entire case, though, was later thrown out. anyway, paige filed for divorce and dixon for bankruptcy. and 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'd ever known, that big place with the mortgage to match, close to six grand a month.
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>> 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 had no lack of ideas or ambition. she sold cooking products for a company called 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. she was always nervous he was gonna 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.
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and i was floored. i thought -- >> do something? >> what does do something mean? and she just said she knew something bad was gonna happen. but murder did not enter my mind. kidnapping did not enter my mind. >> that must have been very strange to hear that. >> it -- 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. coming up, inside the wreckage of paige's burned out car, her day planner. >> still had the pages intact. >> inside the planner, a shock
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for everyone in the case. >> it was stunning. >> quite obviously, it's dangerous. >> when "dateline" continues. claritin provides non-drowsy symptom relief from over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens, day after day. feel the clarity - and make today the most wonderful time of the year. live claritin clear. with downy infusions, let the scent set the mood. ♪ feel the difference with downy.
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so your growing wifi needs will be met. supersonic wifi only from us... xfinity. as a business owner, your bottom line is always top of mind. so start saving by switching to the mobile service designed for small business: comcast business mobile. flexible data plans mean you can get unlimited data or pay by the gig. all on the most reliable 5g network. with no line activation fees or term contracts... saving you up to $500 a year. and it's only available to comcast business internet customers. so boost your bottom line by switching today. comcast business. >> it was a dismal clue, the powering possibilities.™ trail of bits and pieces of paige birgfeld's life found scattered by the highway. but still no paige, alive or dead. and now detectives had two
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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 that she knew, friends, 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 beigler, both. >> as for hard evidence, there was very little. except for the investigators little secret, the one bit of evidence they'd been hiding from everyone, even the birgfeld's something that by pure luck survived that 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 in -- i mean, it was smoke damaged and it had heat
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damage, but it still had the pages intact. >> the day planner, as you can see, still very readable, was full of appointments, and 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 confidante." an enterprise that oddly, shared the same phone number with the business called models inc, whose cards were found scattered along highway 50 among paige's personal effects. which, appeared to support a strange story told by ex-husband ron beigler. that paige had "clients" she would see. >> it was, you know, lonely older married men buying
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companionship from a really intelligent woman that they wanted to spend time with. >> as hard as paige tried, what with the dancing classes, the babyslings, 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 that took place in my jurisdiction. >> living in a very nice house and nice part of town and -- >> and known to a number of people that -- that i knew. i mean, she was a soccer mom. one of my best friends'daughter i believe played on the same soccer team as paige's -- >> sure. >> 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 implied,
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intentionally, that several women worked with her, when it 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 -- i definitely would've tried to use whatever persuasion i had to turn her away from it. i mean, if nothin'else, quite obviously it's dangerous. >> so, it was a shock, obviously, but they said they could 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. >> the news spread, of course
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pretty soon most people in town knew. >> there were, people who wrote to the paper and said horrible things like, "why are we spending all this time looking for a dead hooker? " >> dirt. spread, said andrea, by those who didn't even 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 hyper vigilant defender mode and -- 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. >> now every client who contacted paige on june 28th and there were many, was a potential suspect. here's just
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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. i'm gonna go get me a motel room now. >> this is jim. just callin'to see if -- carrie was available tonight. >> hi, this is glen, i'm just wondering if anybody's still available. >> i'm at the country inn, and i was just callin'to see if anybody's still available for the night. >> yeah, hello, models inc. this is jim, i tried calling you last night. give me a call, thanks. >> my name is dave. i was calling about the ad in the newspaper. >> i wanna speak to one of your female escorts. >> what your rates are and your hours and stuff like that. >> yeah, this is john at motel 6, room 237. >> 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 times.
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>> 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 hit me. >> and what she told investigators. >> he totally did this. and, in clinical trials, feelings of inner restlessness and weight gain were not common. caplyta can cause serious side effects. call your doctor about sudden mood changes, behaviors, or suicidal thoughts right away. antidepressants may increase these risks in young adults. elderly dementia patients have increased risk
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of death or stroke. report fever, stiff muscles, or confusion, which may be life-threatening, or uncontrollable muscle movements, which may be permanent. these aren't all the serious side effects. in the darkness of bipolar i and ii depression, caplyta can help you let in the lyte. ask your doctor about caplyta, from intra-cellular therapies. (assad) since my mother got cancer from smoking, i've learned a lot of things. like how to help her out of bed... how to keep track of her medication... and how to keep her spirits up. (announcer) the people you love are worth quitting for. you can quit. for free help, call 1-800-quit-now where does your almondmilk come from? almond breeze starts here, with our almond trees and our blue diamond orchards in california. my parents job is to look after them, and it's my job to test the product. try new almond breeze extra creamy, our creamiest almondmilk ever. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ voltaren. the joy of movement. >> grand junction is a modern
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town in every way, but lift your eyes from the humdrum, 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
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whatever. >> george coralluzzo was a conman, a sick person. >> megan williams knew coralluzzo because he and her then husband had partnered in a house painting business. knowing coralluzzo as she did, she was not surprised by a visit she got on july 1st 2007. >> sheriffs came to our house. and they said, "is george coralluzzo here? " i actually thought they were there to talk about this kidnapping case. >> to megan "this kidnapping 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
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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. >> that his family had been in an accident. and we said, "what kind of accident? " "oh, well, my brother and my sister-in-law and my 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 and he was just like, "i don't know what i'm going to do. " and just very upset. and we believed him. >> as 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 the -- paige's face come across the news. and i looked at my ex-husband tim and i said, "that's what happened. " i said, "he murdered that woman. " it
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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. didn't find -- >> uh-huh. nothing there. >> so who did you phone? >> i called their local gazette newspaper, talked to a reporter. nothing happened. i called the coroner. nothing. so newspaper, coroner, hospitals. nothing. >> but megan was able to locate coralluzzo and passed that tip on to lead investigator beverly jarrell, who would end up playing a key role. you'll hear more about her later. jarrell 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 jarrell let him go. >> if 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
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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 it to the grave and that he would never be forgiven. what was that besides murdering 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 tavera. detectives suspected that too. so they found tavera brought him in for questioning and what do you know he'd recently injured his arm. >> i had a bandage on it and the cop asked me -- he's all, "what -- what is that, you know? " the detective goes, "what happened there? " i said, "well, i burned my--" "i burned myself at work. " he's like, "well, are you good enough of a friend to burn a car down for george,
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you know? " >> it was a traumatic time, here in grand junction, colorado, that summer of 2007. what with the fruitless search for the missing mother of three, loved by so many, who turned out to have secrets. and the day planner and voice mails and phone 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 by one, the detectives cleared their suspects or tried to. ex-husband number one and current boyfriend, ron beigler. >> we were able to determine that mr. beigler had been in -- the denver area, through cell phone records. >> second husband, rob dixon,
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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 rob dixon's cell phone 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 dixon and beigler's alibis. >> that doesn't eliminate them as far as -- having some 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. >> coralluzzo was the one that was most concerning. >> not to mention coralluzzo's friend jose tavera the one with the big burn on his arm.. >> i said -- well, i said, "i burned myself at work. " >> who swore he did not help
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coralluzzo by setting fire to paige's car. >> i said, "i don't care mother theresa comes and asks me to burn a car -- tell her to go to hell, you know. " >> so they let him go too, for the moment. the other clients? hautzinger knew one of them very well, a prominent real estate investor named steven heald. he was almost as well known in town as rob dixon and, like dixon, for the wrong reasons. >> the first major case i handled when i came to this jurisdiction was his multi-million dollar fraud case. i mean, i had prosecuted him and sent him to prison back in the early'90s for that. so when he came up again as a suspect in the birgfeld matter it was interesting. >> when detectives questioned him, heald admitted he embezzled money from his company to pay for dates with paige. but then, he claimed, paige turned the tables on him. >> he made allegations that she was essentially blackmailing him asking for extra money. coming up -- a startling discovery.
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>> he had the bra sizes and whether or not they would have sex. >> strange, maybe, but did it mean anything? >> yeah. circle back on that later... my tip is; it's hard to serve your country when you're to weak to put on your uniform. (announcer) you can quit. for free help, call 1-800-quit-now. ♪ ( i swear by all-4-one ) ♪ jaycee tried gain flings for the first time the other day... and forgot where she was. ( buzzer ) you can always spot a first time gain flings user.
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here's candice... who works from home, and then works from home. but she can handle pickup, even when her bladder makes a little drop-off. because candice has poise, poise under pressure and poise in her pants. it takes poise. >> paige had disappeared,
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leaving behind three children and a secret life as an escort. one of her clients said she was blackmailed him except his wife supplied an alibi. >> people don't really want to have it out in public that, yeah, i was patronizing a call girl. >> they checked out a drifter
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named john livingston, who, the night paige vanished, called her again and again from a motel 6. desperate, apparently, for her attention. >> yeah, 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 she disappeared. but for some reason didn't want to go, asked linderholm to meet jones instead. >> and he was expecting her. and then i think -- >> and then you showed up at
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his door. >> right. >> i'm sure he had some expectations, right? i mean, he called an escort service. he -- >> 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. 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. 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. oh, i hope you're all right. i hope this isn't rob. oh, my god. >> linderholm mentioned paige's second ex-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 for -- it was put on a
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platform on a trailer and it was being hauled away. when it passed me, i just -- 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 that he worked for bob scott rvs. 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. >> i know rob.
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>> okay. >> rob dixon. paige's ex-husband. >> go down that road. what do you know? >> i used to be with the fire department up in hotchkiss. >> okay, all right. >> i met him there. >> okay. >> that was a long time ago. >> and had also met dixon's then wife, wife, paige. >>'cause she, at one time, had come up there. >> and she had come to where? the fire department, you mean? >> yeah. >> 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 it 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.
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>> while jones answered questions downtown, investigators scoured his house and bob scott rvs where he 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 viagras, and 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 paige, no motive, which led investigators to a new theory. >> i still have difficulty believing that you killed her unless you're working for rob dixon. coming up -- investigators get lester ralph jones on the phone for a very strange call. >> you're asking me where i should bury the body.
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♪♪ >> detectives investigating the
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disappearance of paige birgfeld had a big hunch. there just had to be some connection between lester ralph jones and paige's second husband, rob dixon. >> when was 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
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calls. no wire transfers. nothing suspicious. nothing at all, really. jones himself, on the other hand, well, there were just too many holes in his story. for starters, no alibi the night paige went missing. even worse, jones admitted that when paige's car was set on fire, he was at bob scott r. v. s, practically across the street. >> you're there. by your own admission you're there when the fire's -- >> 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 pre-paid, 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. why was that important? because someone using that particular tracfone called paige ed a models, inc., five times the night she disappeared. >> if there was one thing that
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rose above all else, it was 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 a tracfone at walmart. >> i didn't buy no tracfone at walmart. >> how do you explain the video? >> oh, i don't know. i'd -- i -- 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 sheriff's office just calling to let you know that we have both your cars ready. both of
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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 you. >> you asked me where i would bury a body. >> i'm sorry. >> you asked me where i should bury a body. >> which came out of nowhere, which surprised us. >> because nobody had asked him where he buried the body? >> nobody had asked him about where he buried the 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 out of it. he'd 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 prayed all night and this morning. i've asked for his
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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 added this, "tell thes to -- the cops to get[ bleep ]. 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 toward lester jones. but we still had to keep an eye open on mr. livingston, mr. heald, 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? >> 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 then they sniffed their way down this gravel road that 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
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divers. >> basically, we go across the river about 100 feet. they let us out five feet. we come back across the river, 100 feet. and basically just searching by feel, i just got out of there and it's pitch black on the bottom. >> but there just wasn't a body down there. swept away by the river perhaps? anyway, the labor-intesive search of the countryside, 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
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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. her parents rented an apartment in town and carried on the search alone. >> this is my life now. i really wish i could get into a different line of work. >> even offered a $15,000 reward, no questions asked. >> it's about 100 days, and if she's out there, we need to find her. and, uh, 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 back 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 rather briefly married, once upon a time, to lester ralph jones. lisa will always remember him. coming up -- the ex-wife's tale.
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>> he looked at me and said, i'm going to kill you. >> when "dateline" continues. the lows of bipolar depression can leave you down and in the dark. but what if you could begin to see the signs of hope all around you? what if you could let in the lyte? discover caplyta. caplyta is a once-daily pill, proven to deliver significant relief from bipolar depression. unlike some medicines that only treat bipolar i, caplyta treats both bipolar i and bipolar ii depression. and, in clinical trials, feelings of inner restlessness and weight gain were not common. caplyta can cause serious side effects. call your doctor about sudden mood changes, behaviors, or suicidal thoughts right away. antidepressants may increase these risks in young adults.
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elderly dementia patients have increased risk of death or stroke. report fever, stiff muscles, or confusion, which may be life-threatening, or uncontrollable muscle movements, which may be permanent. these aren't all the serious side effects. in the darkness of bipolar i and ii depression, caplyta can help you let in the lyte. ask your doctor about caplyta, from intra-cellular therapies. why woolite? because its specially formulated to protect your clothing from damage in the wash. like fading, stretching and pilling. woolite has a first of its kind formula that keeps today's fabrics looking like new. woolite damage and darks defense. okay, snacks and popcorn are gonna be expensive. let's just accept that. going to the movies can be a lot for young homeowners turning into their parents. bathrooms -- even if you don't have to go, you should try. we all know where the bathroom is and how to us it, okay? you know, the stevensons told me they saved money bundling their boat insurance with progressive. no one knows who those people are. -it can be painful. -hand me your coats. there's an extra seat right here. no, no, no, no, no. we don't need a coat wrangler.
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progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home, auto, and more with us. no one who made the movie is here. >> my kids really liked him.
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>> 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? what do you mean by really nice? nice how? >> he just seemed 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,
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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, you know? >> 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. >> like, if i'd talked to any of my friends or anything like that and i didn't tell him, you know, 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. and 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 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
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caused the airbags 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 cap. and i think the other one grazed his head. >> and you were going to be next. >> uh-huh. i thought. i thought that. >> you must have been shaking like a leaf. >> it was scary. i asked him to put the gun down, you know, 'cause he had it pointed right at me. and finally he put it in the backseat, the back floorboard. and then, you know, 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. stuff like that. 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. i mean, just sitting in the dark. >> my stomach just, you know, just sank. i mean, i didn't --
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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 just didn't look like himself. and he wouldn't say anything. >> he had something on his mind? >> i think so. it seemed like it anyways. i didn't know what it was. but he just didn't -- and i wanted to get out of the house, you know, 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 agreed -- got behind the wheel and started driving, but then she realized he wasn't going to dinner. he was headed out of town toward the mountains. >> i was like, "where are we going? " and he wouldn't say anything. he just kept rubbin'the back of my head saying, it's going to be okay. >> rubbing the back of your head? >> uh-huh. >> what sort of tone did he have in his voice when he said that? >> he wasn't being loud. he wasn't yelling or anything like that. he was just really, really quiet. >> it's a little creepy. >> uh-huh. >> and looked at him and i said, "we're not gonna eat, are we? " and he looked at me. and he
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said, "no. " and i said, "what are we gonna do? " and he was like, "i'm going to kill you" and then he just started slapping me over and over. >> the moment had come for you? >> uh-huh. that's what i thought.'cause all i could think about was my kids, you know, not seeing'em. but i was, like, tryin'to talk to him, you know? and trying to get him to talk to me, listen to me, you know? he's like, "you don't love me anymore." you don't want me. and i was like, "no, that's not true, you know" and he's like, "well, then prove it. " i said, "how? " you know, and he wanted me to make love to him in the car. and so i tried, you know? but there wasn't no room. >> so i asked him if we could just go get a room and talk, you know? and so finally he agreed to that. >> so what happened when you got to the -- got to town? >> we went to that motel. and he pulled in there. and he looked at me. he's like, "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 goin'really fast, hoping that i -- >> i should think so.
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>> hoping that someone would pull me over. and they did. >> and finally i told him 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, still shaken, still terrified, went home, and he called. >> and the first thing he said was, where are you and -- i just hung up and i called 911. and they took me to a safe house. >> and did they catch him? >> 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. she called the sheriff's department, and she's like, he's here, he's following me, and they arrested him. >> my mom said she asked him what was he doing. and he said,
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"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 the by the fall of 2007, a pile of circumstantial evidence connected him to paige birgfeld's disappearance. >> why didn't you just go arrest him? >> our job is to gather the facts and then present it to the district attorney's office and they make that determination. you wanna add 'cause he had to fight that battle constantly for years. >> oh, i think you hit it -- 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 -- >> absolutely, that was really -- >> i mean, there are lots of no body cases that go to trial. >> not a lot of no body cases where the victim has a double life and has been lying to her family and friends. because of her double life the possibility that a defense attorney could throw out there that -- she ran
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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 critical decision. >> and then, a brand-new theory of what happened to paige. >> i think that triggers something and something went wrong. >> when "dateline" continues. some home fragrances can be... overwhelming. air wick fresh new day fills your space with fragrance that's always fresh, never overpowering.
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chevy nueva con accesorios. find new roads en tu concesionario chevy. they reveal to the lancet that u.s. diplomats are set to return early next week. they added that the u.s. is said to commit 700 million and additional aid to ukraine.
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and a firefighter was killed in a collapsed while responding to a fire in brooklyn. eight other firefighters were hurt. now, back to dateline. >> 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, the beautiful places that draw hikers, bikers, and rafters for years, like the couple trekking through the wells gulf on march 6th, 2012. pretty soon, paige's dad got another one of those phone calls, this time from a local reporter. >> and he said, did you know they found paige's remains this morning? he asked if anybody had called me. i said, you're the first one. >> it took time, though, to be certain that it was her. >> a couple weeks or so was verified it was, in fact, paige's remains. >> she was just a few miles south of where the documents
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had been found alongside the roadside. it had to be paige that left the trail. a call for help or arrow pointing where to find her. all that while restrained. they found remnants of duct tape still wrapped around her jaw. >> we really think the searchers were here. to miss it, you know, it's like, darn, how did that happen? >> probably, said the detectives, her killer buried her five years earlier, way back in 2007 when she first disappeared. eventually, what was left of her was unearthed by a heavy spring runoff. and so said d. a. hautzinger -- >> here we go, this is what we have been waiting for. now we need to really put pedal to the medal and make a decision. >> now, finally with a body, they decided to fashion a murder case against one of the eight possible suspects, the two ex husbands, rob dixon and rob biegler had solid alibis. both being hundreds of miles away when paige was kidnapped and kill. so, that left the six clients. of course, lester ralph jones was at the top of the list. but george coralluzzo, so hard to pin down. witnesses say he was partying at jose's apartment. but what time exactly? that depended on who you spoke to. what everybody did agree was this, coralluzzo was out of control.
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>> he was intoxicated, like slurring his words, not being able to focus. he wouldn't have been able to murder her and get rid of the body. he wasn't capable of it. >> of course, he might have
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been lying to protect his friend. detectives wanted to talk to coralluzzo himself but they couldn't find him. they asked for help. >> they're like, well, 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, they had to go through seven years of reports, interviews, and statements. and it was two years after paige's body was discovered, while wading through that mountain of
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material an investigator stumbled on an overlooked piece of evidence that would change the case. it was security camera video of coralluzzo's friend. including tavera at a market the night paige disappeared. coralluzzo wasn't in the video but the time stamp backed up the story minute by minute that tavera had been telling the cops, 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. this was piecing together a time line of where he was, where we could prove he was during the relevant window of opportunity -- >> right. >> -- that evening or next day when paige went missing. by interviewing lots of people who had been with coralluzzo or had talked to him, we were able to painstakingly essentially alibi him. >> hautzinger finally felt they had enough to take the case to a jury. 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. >> it would have been nice to have that additional piece of
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evidence or additional puzzle piece to put into the jigsaw. >> it would help you tell the story too. >> exactly. >> and telling the story is an important thing for a prosecutor to do. >> it's really the entire thing. i don't have to prove motive, for example, but i usually try to anyway 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 things out the window or trunk or whatever it was leaving the trail going down to delta, and that she was ultimately killed 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. 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.
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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
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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, they knew one of the possible suspects. so when the trial finally got underway, the town's attention was very much focused on this courtroom. >> we're on the record, 1432, mr. jones -- >> but the trouble began before a single witness could be called. ron beigler was angry, wound up. the new district attorney dan rubinstein was set to call paige's first husband. he was a key witness, but was
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afraid he might actually attack jones in the courtroom because beigler 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, although he used a different word than that. >> proceedings ground to a sudden halt. beigler was hauled before the judge. >> if you have any outbursts or you do anything in an attempt to harm anybody in the courtroom, that will result in serious consequences. >> i think it was overexaggerated. taken out of context. >> all right. >> sarcasm may be taken out of context. >> chastened, but still insisting it was all a misunderstanding, beigler took the stand and testified about his last day with paige. >> we talked about me moving into her house in grand junction. we talked about her quitting that business. >> which business? >> the adult entertainment business. >> did you give her reasons why you wanted her to quit? >> mm-hmm. >> what were the reasons you said? >> because she could get killed, for one. >> the jury heard about it all.
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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 then lied about. and the apparent suicide note he'd left for his wife, and the jury heard that strange call jones had with a 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. he said, "i'm going to kill you. " >> and there was this. >> hi, mom. it's me. i was just wondering when you would get home. >> the prosecution played the fearful phone messages paige's then 8-year-old daughter jess left on her mother's cell phone. >> love you, bye. >> and here was jess today, now a senior in high school, but still able to give a child's perspective of a very loving mother. >> she was pretty much a
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typical soccer mom. she -- 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, and she provided us with everything that we needed, whatever that may have been. >> 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 you solemnly swear -- >> and they drove that theory home by boldly calling former lead investigator, beverly jarrell. remember her? she was in charge of the investigation and all those detectives from the beginning, yet was never called to testify for the prosecution, perhaps for good reason. >> would you agree, investigator jarrell, that you made some mistakes in this investigation?
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>> um, yes. >> okay. has it come to your attention that you did, in fact, forget to book in a few recordings into evidence for this? >> yes. >> jarrell admitted reports had gone unwritten and evidence was actually lost like jose tavera'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. >> jarrell said her memory's 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 alternate suspects, the guy who called paige from that motel 6. >> and in that storage unit you had numerous guns, right? >> i did have, yes.
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>> this former client, who allegedly discussed killing paige. >> did you tell ms. waylan that you had killed ms. birgfeld by putting ms. birgfeld through a woodchipper? [laughs] >> no, ma'am. somebody had said something about, did you do this to paige? did you murder paige? " and i said, just out find her because i would have >> 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 tavera, who admitted he 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? >> no. >> that's the one thing you wouldn't do? >> yeah. >> megan williams told the jury she was sure the killer was really coralluzzo. >> he was a pathological liar,
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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 the 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 it'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 a hundred 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
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the other. the prosecutor -- dan rubinstein. >> i 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 for our jury. >> by day three, the judge called the jury into his courtroom to ask -- 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 boggled me when she was like, i don't remember, i don't know. you are a lead investigator? >> when "dateline" continues.
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deliberations, the jury sent word to the judge they were deadlocked. >> is there no likelihood of
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progress toward a unanimous verdict? >> no. >> no? all right. thank you. >> the judge ordered them back to deliberate further. but now, of course, there was concern. >> so they won't make another effort considering their opinions further. if they are unable to make a verdict, they'll reset the trial. >> less than two hours later, another message from the jury. >> 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. >> and that was it. the judge had no option but declare a mistrial. minutes later, paige's dad, frank, tried to keep it positive. >> listen. if we hadn't had a trial, that would have been a problem. this was a massive
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effort. it was well done. i am grateful they gave us a shot at it. >> but like many times in the past, frank 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 believe he was guilty. >> a handful of jurors 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. >> this man, judd swiehart 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. >> still, he voted guilty. but there were others, three all told, who couldn't overcome their doubts. one of them was
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bobbi santa bria who spoke for the three dissenters. >> not enough evidence for them to get past a reasonable doubt. >> the prosecutor said, in a way, he understood. >> the biggest weakness of the case, in my opinion was, there were no eyewitnesses that placed mr. jones with miss birgfeld that night. >> he conceded defense did an admirable job protecting jones. >> the point they were trying to make is a good one, it could be anyone. it could be somebody we never thought of. >> so the seasons slipped by, and now with the leaves gone and snow falling, a retrial. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. >> with time and money tight, all knew this would be rubinstein's last shot at jones. another mistrial would be just as good as an acquittal. >> do you solemnly swear -- >> and so it all played out as before. >> you have a track record of being dishonest? >> yes. >> the same witnesses. >> did you kill miss birgfeld? >> no, ma'am.
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>> the same testimony. >> i have never been able to run a dog on a trail that is a month old. >> the same alternate suspects. >> in your opinion did the sheriff's office conduct on objective investigation? >> no. >> the same closing argument from the defense. >> this man is innocent, and he stays that way unless these people can convince you otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt. >> but what is different this time is rubinstein'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.
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>> 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. >> and just as in the first trial, the jury deliberated for three days before sending a note to the judge. >> please be seated. >> 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. >> he got an additional 12 years for the second-degree kidnapping. jones has filed an appeal. >> when the verdict came in, i think we were supposed to feel elated like the home team kicked a field goal with two seconds left and we just won. and to be honest, i didn't feel that. there were no winners in
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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. >> who moved to pennsylvania soon after paige 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 are working at trying to get back to normal. >> or something like it. >> a big word that always hangs over the room is closure. and i'm not sure what that means. >> paige birgfeld was kidnapped. >> there were difficult moments
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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're not even 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're in trouble, please don't be in trouble, please come home to us. >> 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 nights, soccer games, the dance resigh talls, 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. proof, also, that time is gone,
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forever. this sunday, new battle lines in ukraine. >> another stage of this operation is beginning. >> ukrainian fighters pulling out in mariupol. >> we're still fighting. we destroyed one tank today. two armored flight vehicles and one armored personnel carrier. >> as russian forces take control of dozens of small towns, president biden announces another $800 million in u.s. military aid. >> he will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of ukraine. as new evidence of russian war crimes emerges. >> it's hard to imagine what


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