WINONA, Minn. (FOX 9) - Adam Fravel, the ex-partner of Madeline Kingsbury, was charged with murder just days after her body was discovered in a wooded area off of a remote stretch of Highway 43 in Mabel, Minnesota.
Prosecutors charged Fravel in Winona County court Friday with two counts of second-degree murder. He made his initial court appearance at 11 a.m. via Zoom and is scheduled to return to court for an omnibus hearing on July 20.
Fravel was arrested Wednesday after authorities located Maddi’s body wrapped in what appeared to be a bedsheet closed with duct tape, charges said. Fravel previously denied having anything to do with Maddi’s disappearance.
Here’s what we know about Maddi's disappearance so far and the timeline of the investigation.
The morning Maddi went missing
According to court records, a friend contacted the Winona Police Department on the evening of March 31 voicing concerns for Maddi’s health and safety. The friend told police Maddi was having issues with Fravel and had not contacted anyone throughout the day, which was unusual for her.
Cell phone records indicate the last text message sent from her phone was to her sister at 8:15 a.m. on March 31.
"[The text was] just laughing in response to a funny photo I had sent the night before from a trip she and I took to Rhode Island last summer. No one else heard from her after that," Megan Kingsbury, Maddi's sister, previously told FOX 9.
Maddi was last seen taking her two children to daycare with Fravel around 8 a.m. and then they returned to their home in Winona. Fravel told police Maddi had an online meeting and then was heading to Rochester for work.
Fravel indicated he was doing "storage runs" most of the day with plans to drop items off at his parent’s house near Mabel, Minnesota before bringing different items back to a storage unit in Winona.
Fravel said he left the house around 10 a.m. and went to a nearby gas station before making the drive down south. However, he claimed when he got to an area in Fillmore County, he looked in the back of the vehicle and realized the items in the van were meant to be taken to the Winona storage unit and not his parents’ house.
He said he turned around and drove back towards Winona where he arrived at the house around 11:30 a.m. He noticed when he got home his car was still at the house and assumed Maddi had carpooled to work. He claimed he emptied the van then stayed home for the remainder of the afternoon, charges explained.
According to court records, surveillance video obtained by law enforcement shows a different timeline.
9:44 a.m. – Maddi’s van was in the driveway of the home and a person dressed in a light-colored jacket is seen walking to the front of the van and appearing to remove the front license plate.
9:47 a.m. The same person returns and appears to be reinstalling the front license plate.
9:55 a.m. The person in a light-colored jacket gets into Maddi’s van and by 10 a.m. the van is no longer in front of the house.
10:02 a.m. The van is seen at the gas station where Fravel allegedly told police he had gotten gas. Investigators said the license plate on the van matches the license plate registered to a car typically driven by Fravel, charges said. A person in a light-colored jacket was seen pumping gas.
10:31 a.m. The van was back in the driveway outside the house Maddi and Fravel shared.
11:26 a.m. The van is seen leaving the driveway.
11:44 a.m. – 11:59 a.m. A van matching the description of Maddi’s vehicle is seen heading southbound on Highway 43 toward Mabel, Minnesota.
12:44 p.m. – 1 p.m. A van matching the description of Maddi’s vehicle was seen on Highway 43 heading back toward Winona.
1:28 p.m. A van matching the description of Maddi’s vehicle is seen back in the driveway of her house.
Undetermined time: Fravel told investors he texted Maddi throughout the day, but she didn’t respond, so he picked up their children from daycare in the evening and drove to his parent’s house in Mabel, Minnesota.
Law enforcement obtained a search warrant on April 1 and located her cell phone, jacket, purse and work computer inside the home. Police noted there didn't appear to be any signs of a struggle, charges said.
Fravel ‘infatuated’ with Gabby Petito case
According to court records, police interviewed Fravel on April 1 and April 2 about Maddi’s disappearance. Fravel allegedly told police his relationship with Maddi was not working, and they had separated. He claimed Maddi told him she was in a relationship with someone else about two weeks earlier, and she was trying to find an apartment for her and the children.
Police informed Fravel about a report claiming he told Maddi if she "did not listen up, that she would end up like Gabby Petito," charges read.
Fravel admitted to being "infatuated" with the Gabby Petito case, in which a 22-year-old woman went missing after traveling with her boyfriend around the country. Petito had been strangled to death and her remains were found near a park in Wyoming, according to charges.
However, Fravel claimed he was just trying to make a joke.
Friends and family voiced concerns to the police about Maddi and Fravel’s relationship. One friend claimed sometime in 2020 or 2021 she was on a video call with Maddi when Fravel entered the room and started yelling at her before hitting Maddi in the face, charges allege.
One of Maddi’s family members allegedly told police she had learned "Fravel put his hands around Madeline’s throat" and noted she had red marks on the side of her neck that day, charges read. Investigators say they obtained cell phone records containing a screenshot of a conversation between Fravel and Maddi in 2021 which talked about the alleged abuse.
The day Maddi was found
A Fillmore County deputy was searching a rural area next to a public gravel road approximately one mile from Highway 43. The deputy found human remains wrapped in what appeared to be a gray fitted bedsheet that had been closed with black tape. The medical examiner noted there was a knotted towel around Maddi's head and neck. The preliminary autopsy report determined the manner and cause of death as homicide and homicidal violence, according to court records.
According to court records, authorities said the bedsheet appears to be similar to other bedding in Maddi’s house, and noted a sheet was missing from an air mattress. Additionally, the black tape wrapped around the sheet appeared to be the same as a roll of black Gorilla tape found during a previous search of the house.
Law enforcement said the area near where Maddi was found had been "routinely maintained" by one or more Fravel family members. The property was also near Adam Fravel's parent's house, charges allege.
Fravel was arrested later that night on June 7 in Mabel, Minnesota. He made his first appearance in court Friday morning and the judge set his bail at $1 million with conditions and $2 million without. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 20.
Officials said during a press conference Friday afternoon it's possible Fravel could face additional charges.
'A daughter, a mother, a sister, and an astonishing friend'
The Finding Madeline Kingsbury Facebook group, which organized volunteer searches over the more than two months Maddi was missing, posted the following message Friday after charges were filed:
"Madeline Jane Kingsbury is a daughter, a mother, a sister, and an astonishing friend. She is loved by all who were lucky enough to meet her. Her smile lit up the room and her kindness shone brighter than that. It’s difficult to give words to express how we’re feeling right now. We cannot thank each and every one of you enough for everything you’ve done along the way to help us find her. Although we have now found her, our battle does not stop here; it’s now time to seek justice and hold those responsible for her passing accountable. Madeline had her whole life ahead of her and it would have been a happy, beautiful life. Instead, her children are left motherless due to someone else’s actions."