DNA test results have confirmed that skeletal remains found in western Colorado are that of Grand Junction resident Paige Birgfeld, who disappeared in 2007.
Birgfeld's friends knew her as a devoted single mother who sold kitchen products and did other jobs to support her children. Authorities said the 34-year-old mother of three also had an escort service, a discovery that surprised many who knew her.
Her death is considered a homicide.
Hikers found the remains earlier this month in Delta County. Dental records had allowed investigators to tentatively identify the remains as those of Birgfeld.
Mesa County sheriff's Sgt. Matt Lewis tells The Daily Sentinel that investigators learned last week that a lone tooth matched a DNA profile for her. The cause of death remains undetermined.
Sheriff's officials have said it appears Birgfeld's body was buried, but erosion eventually exposed it.