Madeline Kingsbury: Court denies custody rights to father of missing woman's children

A judge ordered the two children of missing Winona, Minnesota mother Madeline Kingsbury to remain in the care of social services as their father, Adam Fravel, does not have legal custody, according to court records. 

A petition for children in need of protection services was filed in Winona County Court on April 6 after it was discovered the children’s father did not have custodial rights of their 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Maddi was deemed an endangered missing person on March 31 and no known alternative arrangements were made for the care of her children, court records state. 

According to a court petition, the Winona Police Department notified the Winona County Health and Human Services (WCHHS) on April 4 for a 72-hour hold on Maddi's children since her whereabouts are unknown and her disappearance may have been "Involuntary and suspicious." 

Social workers and law enforcement officials tried to implement the 72-hour hold at Fravel’s parent's house, where the children were staying. However, Fravel and his family allegedly did not cooperate with officials and refused to permit social workers to meet with the children, according to the petition.

At one point, Fravel took his 2-year-old son inside the house and locked the door. Social workers reported hearing Fravel "shouting expletives" while he was inside with his son, the petition alleges. 

Fravel and his family contacted an attorney claiming they were advised to take the children inside the house to prevent them from being taken away. Eventually, Fravel handed over the two children to social services but was "unwilling" to grab their belongings, so they left their grandparent's house with only the clothes they were wearing, the petition states. 

Fravel denied the allegations made in the court order including claims that "the children’s health, safety, or welfare would be immediately endangered if the children were released to the care of the custodial parent." 


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The case was brought before a judge on April 7 as an emergency protective care hearing and the judge issued a decision on April 12 that the children would not be released into Fravel’s care at this time. 

"The children shall remain in their current placement at this time as it is in their best interest" and the "care, custody and control [of the children] is transferred to Winona County Health and Human Services," the order reads in part. 

The WCHHS will determine visitation rights between the children and Fravel. The judge scheduled a pre-trial hearing on May 15 with a trial set for June 6. 

Fravel released a statement on April 12 regarding Maddi's disappearance, stating that he has been cooperating with law enforcement and has no involvement in 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, Maddi Kingsbury. During these last 12 days I have cooperated with law enforcement at every turn, including sitting down for multiple interviews with Winona County law enforcement. I did not have anything to do with Maddi’s disappearance. I want the mother of my 5-year-old and 2-year-old to be found and brought home safely," the statement reads in part.