Just after 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2001, Mesa County deputies were dispatched to Blagg’s home in a quiet subdivision near Grand Junction.
Blagg told police that his 34-year-old wife Jennifer and 6-year-old daughter Abby had gone missing. He says he had last seen them at around 6 a.m. that morning when he went to work, and that numerous phone calls over the course of the day had gone unanswered.
He told investigators that the backdoor was open, and when he went into his wife’s bedroom, his worst fears were confirmed.
In a 2002 arrest affidavit, investigators detailed a strange pattern of blood found on Jennifer Blagg’s bed. There was a small trail of blood leading to the family’s minivan, which was still parked in the garage.
A jewelry box had been toppled over in Jennifer’s bedroom, with money thrown on the floor. Two pillows were missing from her bed and her retainer – which Michael Blagg said could be used to obtain a DNA sample – had gone missing.
There was no trace of Abby. Her bed was unmade and the clothes she had laid out for school that morning were still there, untouched.
“First impressions of the scene by several experienced investigators … and several crime scene technicians seemed to suggest the scene was ‘staged,’” the arrest affidavit reads. “There is no evidence of struggle between the killer/abductor and victims.”