Samantha Sepulveda went into her career as a cop with only the best intentions. Yes, she simply wanted to help people and felt that becoming a law enforcement officer would be the easiest way to make a difference. But as Sepulveda’s career progressed, her colleagues realized that she was hiding a secret second life. And the cops probably knew that if this shocking double life was ever exposed to the public, then their precinct would become the laughing stock of the entire police force.
It seems wise, then, that Sepulveda chose to keep her second life a secret. On the surface, after all, Sepulveda was everything the world could want in a cop. She attended the University of Massachusetts and graduated with a distinction in her management degree. The rising star also went on to study for her MBA in finance – but a career in that field never came to fruition.
Instead, Sepulveda chose to become a cop – at least, as far as everyone knew. Yet a friend pushed the native of Freeport, New York, to chase a second, secret life at the same time. And when the world found out what the officer was really doing behind the scenes, people naturally had a lot to say about her hidden agenda.
So who is Samantha Sepulveda? Well, understanding where she hails from will tell us a lot about who she came to be. You see, Sepulveda was born in 1984 in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. But the young girl wouldn’t stay there for long; her mother decided to uproot her and her sister for life in a new country. Yes, the trio moved to the United States when Sepulveda was just five years old.
Of course, Sepulveda’s mother had a good reason for relocating the family: a job in an American factory. She also thought the U.S. would provide her daughters with better educations and future prospects. So five-year-old Sepulveda arrived in her new home of New York City and subsequently started the first grade.
Right away, Sepulveda showed promise as an athlete – and her interest in sports eventually blossomed into bona fide talent. So when it came time for college, the teen earned a scholarship to play lacrosse at the University of Massachusetts. And alongside her athletic pursuits, the co-ed studied management. At this point, she had yet to even consider a second life.
Sepulveda then graduated with distinction from UMass with a bachelor’s degree – but wasn’t finished learning. She enrolled at Hofstra University next, where she studied for a master’s in business administration in finance. And with two degrees in such professional fields, it probably seemed that Sepulveda was destined for a traditional 9-to-5 occupation.
But when it came time to forge a career, Sepulveda decided to shift her focus. And as she explained in a 2017 New York Post exposé, Sepulveda initially realized that she wanted to give something back with her work. She said, “It sounds corny, but which career could I help people more in – money-driven Wall Street or civil service, where you’re protecting people?”
Yet pursuing a career in law enforcement seemed like an odd choice for Sepulveda – and not just because she had long studied business and finance. After all, the former lacrosse star didn’t have the traditionally daunting frame of a cop one might envision. Indeed, she measured in at a mere 5 foot 2 inches tall.
But her height – or lack thereof – seemingly didn’t bother Sepulveda; she enlisted in police academy like any other hopeful officer. And once she completed all of the training required, the recruit got a job on the force. Her post would have her patrolling the streets of Freeport, Long Island, in New York State.
Sepulveda’s cop life began in 2010, and her passion for the work hasn’t wavered. Seven years later, she described to the New York Post what she loves about her job. The officer explained, “When people call the cops, it’s because they don’t have anyone else to turn to. [Being an officer has] given me an opportunity to give back to people who really need help.”
Sepulveda also finds that, as a woman on the force, she has an easier time softening the criminals with whom she deals daily. She explained, “With a female officer, their guard is lowered. There’s less aggression, and the situation is defused.” That doesn’t mean that Sepulveda plays up her femininity while on the job, though.
In fact, Sepulveda’s daily work attire includes the traditional police uniform as well as a simple bun hairdo and a face free of make-up. Such an appearance supposedly makes her “look as masculine as possible,” just as she wants. Still, sometimes, the people whom she chases would notice something different about her. Maybe they even have an insight into her secret double life?
Well, while on the police force, Sepulveda often faces jokes from the people she speaks to and arrests. People will say things to her like, “You can arrest me any time!” And once, the cop recalled, a suspect stopped dead in his tracks when he realized what the woman in pursuit of him looked like.
As Sepulveda told the New York Post, she and her partner were chasing down a man who had assaulted his wife and then threatened them both as they tailed him. But when the suspect saw Sepulveda, he reportedly stopped and said, “You’re the best-looking cop I’ve ever seen! Can I take you on a date?”
Most of the time, then, Sepulveda’s looks aid her in her quest to protect the streets. Sepulveda even admitted that she relied on her appearance – rather than whipping out weapons – to subdue persons of interest. She said, “I talk men into handcuffs all the time because they don’t want to fight me.” But how did this go down with the other cops?
Well, Sepulveda’s colleagues treat her with plenty of respect – but her beauty doesn’t go unnoticed. And it’s because of this that she decided to take on a second, secret career. Yet doing so isn’t abnormal for cops, according to the Fremont officer. Sepulveda has even said plenty of her coworkers have gigs outside of the force.
Yet Sepulveda’s male colleagues tend to work in more traditional fields. Most seemingly moonlight as plumbers or electricians or take on trade work that seems somehow in tune with what the world might expect from a person in such a hands-on career. As for Sepulveda, though, she claimed, “I’ve been under the microscope since I started.”
So once Sepulveda’s coworkers found out about her second life, some heads did turn. That’s because her side hustle has little to do with her training in finance and business – although she would incorporate some aspects of her education into the fold. No, her second career had to do with her looks more than anything else. But how did it happen?
Well, a friend suggested that Sepulveda should pursue her second life about three years after she joined the police force. The cop’s pal happened to work for a lingerie and swimwear company, you see, and she seemingly realized that the officer would make the perfect model for their runway fashion show. So Sepulveda became a model. And since then, Sepulveda’s modeling career has taken her around the world to places including Australia, Spain, Nicaragua and England. The police officer also made her runway debut at the 2017 New York Fashion Week – an event she described as “exhilarating.”
On the catwalk during New York Fashion Week, Sepulveda slipped into a bridal gown to close Azulant Akora’s show. The designer explained why the cop moonlighting as a model was the right fit for her show. Akora told the New York Post, “I’m inspired by her confidence. I feel Sam represents millennials, and I wanted to create a wedding gown for millennials.”
The show-closing gown had lines of hand-sewn beads, placed just so to represent the ebb and flow of water. Slipping into the frock and strutting down the runway suited Sepulveda, too. She said the sensation mirrored that of a “hot call” coming into the station.
Sepulveda also claimed that modeling provided “a different kind of adrenaline pump” to her day job. Still, while she thrives taking part in her new craft, others apparently dislike the cop’s public image. Namely, some people find Sepulveda’s provocative photos – displayed proudly on her Instagram page – to be slightly offensive. But the police officer has advice for those who hold that opinion.
According to Sepulveda, her modeling shots “celebrate a woman’s body.” She also told the New York Post, “I don’t think they’re offensive.” And the cop suggested, “If people find them offensive, close your eyes.” Considering how many followers she’s racked up on Instagram, though, more people are looking than are wincing.
After the newspaper broke the story of Sepulveda’s double life, her follower count on Instagram grew by more than 90,000 – giving her more than 200,000 fans on the site. Nowadays, though, she’s doubled that figure and has 413,000 people watching when she shares her modeling shots as well as her everyday pics.
On her Instagram page, though, Sepulveda makes a point to share more modeling pictures and fewer snaps of herself in uniform. Yet she made an exception for International Women’s Day in 2018, when she wrote, “Shout out to all the strong, confident, well-rounded, focused, beautiful, kind, independent women who have a career and can still feel sexy and beautiful all at the same time.”
Sepulveda’s fans responded to the post to show their support for the cop-turned-model too. One commenter wrote, “Thank you for your service in law enforcement. You look beautiful, Samantha.” Others expressed their praise more simply. For instance, another person said Sepulveda is “the hottest cop on Earth.”
This kind of supportive reaction has fortunately proved to be the norm for Sepulveda. In Fremont, where she works for the police force, the locals have accepted her double life as well. She told the New York Post, “They’re a lot nicer because they feel they know me. I’m not just a jerk cop.”
In another interview with the same paper, Sepulveda said people have also begun to recognize her while she is patrolling the streets. She recalled, “I was at a hospital and a patient said, ‘Hey! You! You’re that hot model police officer!’” At first, the cop didn’t know how to react in response.
In the end, Sepulveda said, “I blushed and just walked the other way… I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to [the fame].” Still, the successful model did note that she has appreciated the way that people have reacted to her second line of work. “The support has been incredible,” she said.
And while the Fremont locals love shouting out to their gorgeous cop, Sepulveda’s co-workers barely batted an eyelid at her fame. Once they had found out about her modeling, she said, “It was business as usual when I came into the office. Everyone treated me the same way. I respect them for that.”
After all, Sepulveda herself hasn’t changed. And although her modeling jobs have her donning risqué lingerie – and she’s brought home a ton of strappy pieces – she rarely wears the sassy garb. Instead, she admitted, “I like to just sleep in an oversize T-shirt and be comfortable. Lingerie is for men!”
Playing up both sides of her personality has allowed Sepulveda to thrive in both areas of her career, though. In 2014, for instance, the fit cop earned a spot among “America’s hot girls of the gym” – a list compiled by Muscle and Fitness magazine. A year later, Inside Fitness magazine also profiled the officer-turned-model.
And, once the New York Post told Sepulveda’s story in its pages, her career skyrocketed to even greater heights. She nabbed a slew of interviews post-publication, of course. But Sepulveda also got the chance to star in a pictorial feature for Maxim magazine.
For all of her success in modeling, though, Sepulveda’s focus has yet to waver. As of September 2017, she has no plans to leave her job as a police officer to focus on her career in front of the camera. But the model did hope to add more international gigs to her schedule and perhaps branch into reality TV or acting.
Sepulveda was also seeking a better balance in her personal life. Namely, she had trouble finding partners who loved her for both her beauty and her brains. She also said some men had a problem with her propensity for sharing modeling photos online – especially if they are a bit racy.
Sepulveda explained to the New York Post, “I’ve had exes who asked me why I need to show my boobs all the time, but I’m not stupid. If people want to look at my boobs, that’s fine — but my Instagram has also given me a great platform to help people.” That has been her goal since the beginning, after all.
So Sepulveda hopes to use her bustling Instagram platform, police sensibilities and business training to do even more good in the world. In 2017 she even confessed that she wanted to use her expertise to help build sustainable energy plants in Thailand. The idea was already in development, too.
At the same time, Sepulveda was striving to lead a more traditional life. She even said she hoped that her bridal modeling gigs would serve as some sort of foreshadowing. Because although she didn’t have a beau, Sepulveda did admit to feeling like she was “ready to settle down.”
Of course, such a concept seemed out of character for Sepulveda, who has made time to pursue two very demanding careers. And she has certainly kept adding to her accomplishments on the force while maintaining her modeling portfolio. So don’t be fooled by her gorgeous good looks. As she retorted in 2017, “I’m still the number one summons issuer.”
But not every story of a secret double life has such a happy ending. Take the tale of Paige Birgfeld – an apparent supermom by anyone’s definition. When Paige went missing for two days in 2007, her daughter, Jess, subsequently insisted that her nanny called the police. Little did she know, however, that she’d never see her mom again. What’s more, the reasons for Paige’s disappearance turned her family’s lives upside down.
Paige Birgfeld was 34 years old at the time of her disappearance. She lived in Grand Junction, Colorado, a single mom to her three kids, Taft, Kohl and Jess. She’d been divorced twice, with all three of her children having been born to her second husband, Robert Dixon.
Birgfeld did everything she could to support her daughter and sons. She ran several businesses from home, selling products such as baby slings and kitchenware. She also undertook several other entrepreneurial ventures, including opening a dance school.
Her daughter Jess described her as a “soccer mom.” Devoted to her kids, Birgfeld drove them everywhere and even allowed them to sleep in her bed. She was, indeed, the very definition of a supermom. But events were soon to send her children’s lives into a tailspin.
On Thursday, June 28, 2007, she traveled 120 miles for a date with 37-year-old Howard Biegler, her first husband. The date seemed to go smoothly, and just after 9:00 p.m., she called Biegler to tell him that she was nearly home. However, Birgfeld didn’t come home that Thursday.
Image: via NBCNews
Birgfeld still hadn’t arrived home by Saturday. Unusual working hours were simply part and parcel of all her many jobs and businesses, though, and so her children’s nanny thought nothing of it. Her daughter Jess, on the other hand, did – and subsequently insisted that her nanny call the cops.
The next day, the police discovered Birgfeld’s Ford Focus burnt out in a parking lot, some three miles from her Grand Junction home. Meanwhile, various of her belongings, including business cards and checks, were found discarded along a highway southeast of her home. The situation didn’t look good.
Furthermore, the investigation into Birgfeld’s disappearance soon took another ominous turn when police discovered a shocking secret about her professional life. Alongside all of her other business ventures, there was one enterprise that she hadn’t made public knowledge.
It turned out that Birgfeld had secretly been running an escort service – a fact known only by her closest friends. Indeed, not even her family members were aware of what she was up to. Her father, Frank Birgfeld, told the Daily Mail, “I can’t tell you how negatively I would have responded.”
What’s more, during her 20s Birgfeld had enjoyed a successful stint as an exotic dancer. She had, in fact, even met her second husband while working at a strip club. However, Birgfeld’s later divorce from him left her in dire financial straits, and that was when she turned to escorting to pay the bills.
According to her friends, Birgfeld would usually go on the dates that she organized rather than sending other women. And yet they claimed that she wouldn’t “prostitute” herself. Nevertheless, her ads described her services as those of an “escort, erotic massage [and] private dancer.”
“There is a very clear line between legal and illegal and she made sure that line was never crossed,” Jamie Silvernail, an old friend of Birgfeld’s, told People magazine. “She knew if she crossed that line, she could jeopardize her kids.”
Despite this revelation, however, and the interviews with clients of Birgfeld’s escort business that subsequently ensued, police still found no trace of her for five long years. Then in 2012 a hiker made a horrifying discovery in Delta County.
Yes, the hiker pulled up bones from a creek bed. And through the use of dental records, it was determined that they belonged to Birgfeld. The missing person case had turned into a homicide, with the police now hoping to find fresh leads from this new evidence.
Soon, officers turned again to Lester Ralph Jones, a mechanic from Colorado whom they had considered a “person of interest” back in 2007. A client of Birgfeld’s, Jones was one of the last people to contact her before her disappearance. And eventually, in November 2014, police arrested him.
On the night of Birgfeld’s murder, Jones had left his house for an hour or so, making an excuse to his wife about forgetting to switch off the lights at work. Moreover, not long after Birgfeld’s disappearance, police discovered many suspicious objects in his toolbox. These items included phone numbers of escorts, their bra sizes and men’s wigs. In addition, there was a food scale of the type that Birgfeld sold through one of her businesses.
Before his arrest in 2014, Jones already held a criminal record for first-degree assault and second-degree kidnapping. Indeed, he’d spent five years behind bars. What’s more, throughout the investigation into Birgfeld’s disappearance, he’d given police contradictory statements – no doubt further ramping up their suspicions.
With the case against him growing stronger, Jones stood trial in September 2016. However, the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, so proceedings ended in a mistrial. Jones’ second trial was then to be held three months later, in December 2016.
This time the jury found the now 65-year-old Jones guilty. Consequently, he was convicted of murder and kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. The Mesa County Prosecutor’s Office told People magazine, “While this verdict will not bring Paige Birgfeld back to her family, we are happy it will give her family closure.”
When Paige Birgfeld disappeared that June night in 2007, her poor kids couldn’t have known that it would be the last time they’d see her – or that the shocking truth of their mom’s double life would soon come to light. However, they can hopefully rest a tiny bit easier knowing that her killer has finally been brought to justice.