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Emotional testimony from Birgfeld's family in Lester Jones trial

Published: Aug. 1, 2016 at 7:06 PM MDT
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The first set of witnesses took the stand Monday in the Lester Jones trial.

Jones is accused of kidnapping and murdering Paige Birgfeld in 2007. Jurors heard from witnesses who were close to Birgfield, including her daughter who reported her mom missing when she was only eight years old.

Jurors heard from Birgfeld’s mother, father and her daughter Jess. Questions from both the prosecution and defense shed light on who Paige Birgfeld was, and the secrets she kept from those closest to her.

"My daughter is Paige Birgfeld, my daughter will always be Paige Birgfeld—not was," said Frank Birgfeld

The jury learned Paige was a daughter, a mother… and a friend. Her father recalled the moments he learned she was gone.

"He said, ‘do you know that she's missing?’ Man it’s like a dagger. And I remember the pause....and I said, ‘missing? What do you mean missing?’” Frank Birgfeld said.

Paige Birgfeld's mother and father testified about the pain of losing a child, but it was her daughter Jess Dixon who gave a glimpse into her life.

"She was your typical soccer mom. We did everything with her... She provided us with everything we needed," said Jess Dixon.

Jess, now 17, was only 8 years old when she walked through the doors of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office to report that her mother never came home.

What her family didn't know was the life she hid.

"I was completely in the dark on this adult world thing," said Frank Birgfeld.

Based on her family's testimony, Paige's children knew her escort business existed, but were too young to understand.

"At the time, I believed it was just massages and dancing," said Jess Dixon.

Her parents learned of her double life after law enforcement officials began investigating her disappearance.

"He said, ‘did you know she was engaged in an adult business,’ and I said, ‘no I have no idea what that is,’ and that was the first mention of it," said Frank Birgfeld.

Jess Dixon entered the courtroom with one of the Justice Department's service dogs, used to comfort those who are testifying to things that are very tragic.

However, the defense insisted the dog not be allowed. They said it would create too much distraction, and maybe additional sympathy, which they said might bias the jurors.

Now that Birgfeld's family is finished testifying they are welcome to sit in on the rest of the case.

One of Birgfeld's nannys, as well as her ex-husband, Howad Beigler, also testified.