Police in Minnesota on Thursday identified human remains found along a highway as those of Madeline Kingsbury, a 26-year-old mother of two, who had been missing since late March.
A Minnesota man was arrested and charged with murder Wednesday in connection with her case after authorities found the body Wednesday afternoon.
The suspect, Adam Fravel, is the father of Kingsbury’s two young children.
Police say their investigation into Kingsbury’s disappearance led them to a patch of brush along Highway 43 where they found the body.
Police said thousands of searchers assisted their investigation over more than two months after Kingsbury disappeared from Winona, Minnesota.
Winona Police Chief Tom Williams offered condolences to the family. “While this discovery is not what we were hoping for, we are thankful to be able to bring Maddi home to her family,” Williams said.
The area where Kingsbury’s remains were found had previously been searched, police said Thursday. But it wasn’t found during a first sweep because it was concealed and covered in a wooded area off a gravel road, they said. The body was found in Fillmore County, the next county away from Winona.
“There were efforts made to conceal the location of the body,” Fillmore County Sheriff John DeGeorge said at the news conference.
Fravel had a home a few minutes’ drive away from the area where Kingsbury’s body was found, police said.
Adam Fravel, 29, was arrested “on probable cause in connection to her disappearance,” the Winona Police Department said on Facebook on Wednesday.
Here’s what we know about the case:
When did Madeline Kingsbury go missing?
The mother of two was last seen March 31. That day, she did not show up to work or answer calls from family and friends, police have said. She did not pick up her children from daycare that afternoon, according to authorities.
In April, police said that evidence suggested Kingsbury’s disappearance was “involuntary and suspicious” and investigators were “extremely concerned for her safety,” CNN reported.
Law enforcement agencies were “working as quickly as possible to positively identify the remains,” police said.
Fravel has said in a statement he denies being involved in Kingsbury’s disappearance.
Kingsbury’s children were taken into government custody
The children of Kingsbury and Fravel were taken into custody of Winona County after their mother’s disappearance, CNN reported.
A judge also ruled in April that the children would remain in county custody rather than be released to their father.
Fravel did not have custodial rights to his children, ages 5 and 2, CNN reports. Authorities on Thursday said the ultimate custody of the children would be up to child protection services.