Madeline Kingsbury's ex appears in court on new murder charge

The ex-boyfriend of Madeline Kingsbury, Adam Fravel, was in court on Tuesday for upgraded charges of first-degree murder. Kingsbury, who went missing on March 31, was found dead in June.

Suspect Fravel appeared in court Tuesday for the first time since being indicted by a grand jury on the new murder charge. His bond was increased to $3 million.

For three months, police and family searched for the missing 26-year-old Kingsbury. Her body was found on June 7. Her ex-boyfriend and the father of her two children, 29-year-old Fravel, was arrested shortly after.

RELATED: Madeline Kingsbury: Timeline of her disappearance and death investigation

Rachel Moran, a University of St. Thomas law professor, provided insight: "They’re saying the murder happened during an incident of abuse by someone who had a pattern of domestic abuse."

Search warrants in the case show Kingsbury told friends and family if anything bad happened to her, Fravel would be the one responsible.

"I think a big thing for us now is just continuing to spread awareness," explained Megan Kingsbury, Madeline’s sister. 

Madeline’s mom, Krista Naber, added, "Just awareness about domestic violence, how prevalent it is."

At the time of Madeline’s disappearance, Fravel and Madeline were living together with their two kids. Fravel told police Madeline was seeing someone new and trying to move out. Search warrants say Fravel was obsessed with the Gabby Petito case, a woman who was murdered by her boyfriend in 2021.

Fravel’s sister argues he’s an innocent man.

"He's never been a bad guy," said Theresa, Fravel's sister. "He's never controlled Maddi. She did whatever she wanted. He was very...he was loving to her. So they're just. I can't get anyone to believe me, but I know that my brother didn't do this. He was never abusive with her."

However, Madeline’s father, David, disagrees. "It's going to be up to the judge and the jury to determine his guilt or innocence. We do believe the right person is in custody."

The Kingsbury family says Madeline and Fravel's children are doing well and being seen by a mental health therapist. The next hearing for Fravel is in December, and the case may not go to trial until at least next summer.