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Missing Mom's Secret Life

Paige Birgfeld, a 34-year-old single mom, was last seen by her friends and neighbors in Grand Junction, Colo., on June 28. Investigators still don't know what happened to her, but they are now looking into what appear to be ties to an online escort service.

Paige's father, Frank Birgfeld, and a friend, Andrea Land, spoke Thursday to The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen about the emotionally draining ordeal.

Asked about the latest in the search for his daughter, Birgfeld says, "We've been having search teams out in what is really rugged country out here since Saturday. We've found some items of hers on the highway. But other than that, I don't think we found anything of significance."

"Her car was found three days after her disappearance. It was there miles from her house in a light industrial area, set on fire from the inside, presumably to destroy evidence," he adds.

"Frank, is it out of character for Paige to just get up and leave her family for an extended period of time?" Chen asks.

"I made the statement that if Paige broke both her legs three miles from her house, she'd have crawled on her elbows to get back to her kids," Birgfeld replies.

Paige Birgfeld was involved in a number of different jobs, including selling "The Pampered Chef" products, and teaching dance to preschoolers. Then it turned out she was likely involved with an online escort service.

Asked if he thinks that line of work put his daughter in harm's way, Frank Birgfeld says, "Well, I would say that's the most fertile area. I mean, I don't think she's going to have attackers who come at her because of her 'Pampered Chef' products."

Birgfeld, who says he didn't know about his daughter's line of work, thinks investigators knew about the service right from the beginning when the search for Paige began.

Andrea Land knows Paige from the Mom's Club Chapter they both belong to. "Paige is somebody that lights up the room. She's probably the most patient and loving mother out of all of us in our group of 46 members. We all wished we could be more like her. She always has a smile on her face. And I've never heard her raise her voice to her kids. She just has a wonderful, loving, patient way about her."

Asked how Paige's children are coping with the disappearance of their mother, Frank Birgfeld tells Chen, "You know, we're starting to worry a little bit about it. they don't say much, but they seem to cry more easily."

"Do you think Paige is still alive out there, Frank?" Chen asks.

"You know, look, we know what the odds are in this thing. But there's also, from now and then, a bizarre ending in these things. We look at the Elizabeth Smart case, where actually some of these searchers went to Salt Lake City, couldn't find her, and found her alive with some religious zealot nine months later. So there can be a happy ending. As parents, that's what we hope for," Birgfeld says.