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Ex-boyfriend of missing Minnesota mother charged with murder after body found

Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office

(WINONA COUNTY, Minn.) — A Minnesota man has been charged with murder in the death of the mother of his children, who was found dead in a rural area more than two months after she was reported missing, prosecutors said.


Adam Fravel, 29, is being held on a $2 million unconditional bond after being charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the death of Madeline Kingsbury, 26, prosecutors said.

Kingsbury was last seen alive the morning of March 31, when she and Fravel dropped their two young children off at a day care before returning to her home in Winona, police said. She was reported missing after a concerned friend requested a welfare check and police officer found Kingsbury’s cellphone, wallet and ID in her home but could not locate her.

After an extensive search, authorities located the body of Kingsbury on Wednesday concealed in brush in a wooded area north of Mabel, Minnesota, authorities said.

“She had a bright future, and Mr. Fravel took that from her,” Winona County Attorney Karin Sonneman said during a Friday press conference announcing the charges.

Sonneman added that Fravel could be charged with first-degree murder at a later date, adding that the case is still ongoing.

Fravel told police that he and Kingsbury were in an on-and-off relationship for the past seven years but they had recently separated and were in the process of moving out of their shared home when she went missing, according to a complaint obtained by ABC News. Fravel indicated that two weeks prior to her disappearance, Kingsbury told him she had started a relationship with another man, the complaint stated.

Fravel had told investigators that the morning Kingsbury went missing, he left the house in Kingsbury’s van around 10 a.m., but when he returned later that day, she was not there, police said.

Police found Kingsbury on a property maintained by the Fravel family with a knotted towel wrapped around her head and neck, and her body was wrapped in a bed sheet identified as originating from Kingsbury and Fravel’s shared residence, according to the complaint.

The complaint stated that Fravel reportedly admitted to being “infatuated” with the case of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old travel blogger who authorities say was strangled to death by her boyfriend in August 2021 while the two were on a cross-country road trip. Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, died by suicide.

“Fravel also admitted that he had made a statement to Madeline about her ending up like Gabby Petito,” the complaint stated. “Fravel claimed he was trying to make a joke.”

The complaint also included an excerpt from Kingsbury’s phone conversations in which she confronted Fravel about an alleged incident of domestic violence.

“You know I am not really OK with or over the fact that you put your hand around my neck and pushed me down in front of the kids earlier…” the message from Kingsbury to Fravel reads.

A preliminary autopsy determined that Kingsbury’s cause of death was homicide and homicidal violence, according to the complaint.

Fravel’s first court appearance is set for July 20.

In the weeks after Kingsbury was reported missing, Fravel denied having anything to do with her disappearance.

“Over the course of the last 12 days, my family and I have been subject to a myriad of accusations regarding the disappearance of the mother of my children,” Fravel said in a statement released by his attorney on April 14.

He said he has been cooperating with authorities and that investigators advised him not to attend press conferences or searches “due to safety concerns.”

Fravel and Kingsbury’s children, ages 2 and 5 at the time of their mother’s disappearance, are currently in the custody of Winona County and are with Kingsbury’s parents, ABC Saint Paul affiliate KSTP reported.

When asked about the custody of the children, Sonneman acknowledged that Fravel, who does not have custodial rights, might be able to get supervised and secured visitation rights of their children if he secures bail.

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