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WINONA, Minn. (AP) — The former boyfriend of a Minnesota woman whose body was found hidden in a rural area of the state was charged Friday in her death.
am Fravel, 29, was charged with second-degree murder. The charge comes two days after a deputy found the body of Madeline Kingsbury, who would have turned 27 on June 1. She had been missing since March 31 after dropping off her two young children at day care in Winona, a southeastern Minnesota town of about 26,000 residents. Fravel is the father of the children.
Fravel appeared in court Friday. Bail was set at $2 million, or $1 million with conditions that included no contact with Kingsbury’s parents or siblings. He would be allowed to have contact with his children if he is released on bail. He remains jailed and it wasn’t immediately clear if he has an attorney who could comment.
“We have heard from so many people how wonderful a person Maddie was,” Winona County Attorney Karin Sonneman said at a news conference. “She had a bright future, and Mr. Fravel took that from her.”
Kingsbury’s remains were discovered Wednesday in a wooded area along a gravel road near Mabel, about 46 miles (74 kilometers) south of Winona. Fravel was arrested later that day.
Police have not disclosed a cause of death. Kingsbury’s parents have been caring for the children, ages 2 and 5, since she went missing.
A criminal complaint said that after a friend reported Kingsbury missing, Fravel told police that they had recently decided to separate and she was seeing someone else. The complaint said a friend of Kingsbury had seen Fravel be violent with her in the past.
Winona Police Chief Tom Williams estimated that around 2,000 people had joined in the search for Kingsbury, and police investigated hundreds of tips. Authorities said Thursday that digital evidence, including phone and computer records, helped lead to the discovery of the body.
Authorities had searched the same area earlier but the body was “covered and concealed in such a manner that she was not visible,” Williams said. The criminal complaint said Kingsbury’s body was wrapped in a bed sheet with tape around it.
The body was found a few miles from where relatives of Fravel own property, Fillmore County Sheriff John DeGeorge said.
Sonneman said Minnesota law requires a grand jury indictment for a first-degree murder charge. She didn’t rule out an upgraded charge later. Fravel’s next court hearing is July 20.