Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Frank Birgfeld Speaks After Human Remains Tentatively Identified as Paige Birgfeld

By Matt Kroschel
Grand Junction-- In his own words, the father of missing woman Paige Birgfeld, Frank Birgfeld, speaks with NewsChannel 5 in a live interview just a few hours after human remains found in the Wells Gulch area were tentatively identified as Paige by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

Delta County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance in recovering the skeletal remains from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Delta County Coroner’s Office, the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Forensic odontology has been used to tentatively identify the remains as belonging to Paige Birgfeld of Grand Junction. A DNA comparison will be requested through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to confirm these results. The remains may be forwarded to a forensic anthropologist in an attempt to identify any evidence of trauma.
Other personal items were found along with the remains and will be considered for DNA testing based on past successes with trace evidence.


Paige Birgfeld was reported missing in a 2007 Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Investigation that has since been classified as a homicide.
The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office continues to be informed of developments in this case as they occur.

Investigators are continuing to search the Wells Gulch area for any clues that would show how the body arrived in the area or any clues as to how Paige was killed.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fire Department Will Not Rely On "Luck" Any Longer

White Hall Task Force Releases Action Report

by Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction, CO-- Months after the White Hall fire, a task force assembled to access how the fire was handled releases their report and their findings highlight some serious concerns within the Grand Junction Fire Department.

In the 35 page report concerns over communication breakdowns, training inadequacies and a lack of resources available to cover other emergencies during the fire were addressed. During that raging inferno inside the landmark building in downtown Grand Junction, a firefighter fell through the floor of the building while fighting it. Fire Chief Ken Watkins said his department, "got lucky" and vows to make sure their responses to large commercial structure fires are handled differently in the future by changing their policy.

"We wanted to put this out in the lights and let the public know what we need to work on and what we are doing well," Watkins said.

The report highlights the dispatch communication center's lack of knowledge on fire fighting operations, as well as protocols for "Mayday" situations (when a firefighter is down). Also, the report indicates dispatchers do not typically monitor tactical channels during emergency operations.

"A lot of these are cheap fixes and are already in the process of being made," Watkins added.

There were also several positive findings in the report that Chief Watkins said shows just how dedicated and professional his department is at the job they do everyday.

"I am very proud of my team, we just have a couple of things we need to focus on fixing so we can provide the best service to the community and keep our firefighters safer."

The report indicates a lack of resources and difficulties responding to incidents in the Grand valley due to geographical issues.

Chief Watkins told NewsChannel Five every finding and recommendation is being looked at and being seriously addressed.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Police Volunteer Racks Up 1,000's of Hours Keeping Community Safe

NewsChannel Five February "People You Can Count On" Recipient

by Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction, CO-- Grand Junction Police Department has a secret weapon in their mission to keep the community safe, it is Bill Price.

After over 20 years volunteering his time in the evidence room and in the volunteer police patrols around town, the man who has retired twice, served in the US Navy, and worked as a court reporter has no plans on slowing down.

NewsChannel Five is proud to honor Price for his years of service and dedication with the police department as February's People You Can Count On recipient.

You can nominate someone you know who is making a difference in the community by filling out the online nomination form at