Missing Persons

Police Make New Request as Search for Missing Mom Madeline Kingsbury Reaches 1 Month

Kingsbury, a 26-year-old clinical researcher at Mayo Clinic, has been missing since she dropped her children off at daycare on the morning of March 31 in Winona, Minnesota

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As the search for missing Minnesota mother Madeline "Maddi" Kingsbury reaches the one month mark, police are making a new request.

Authorities last week asked residents of multiple Minnesota counties to check for old wells, sinkholes or windmills that may not have been recorded.

"We're asking property owners in these counties to report old wells from before 1925, old homesteads and old windmills or windmill bases," the Winona Police Department said in a release. "We are also asking people to report sinkholes that are accessible by car. This information is not included in available records and could lead to new searches."

Anyone who may have wells, windmills or sinkholes on their property should report them to search@co.winona.mn.us.

Kingsbury, a 26-year-old clinical researcher at Mayo Clinic, has been missing since she dropped her children off at daycare on the morning of March 31 in Winona, Minnesota, sparking weeks of massive searches, a widespread investigation and nationwide headlines.

"It's been a whirlwind of a month and I can't believe that it's gone on this long and that it's still going on," her sister Megan Kingsbury said on social media Monday.

Police said in their latest update that they remain unable to name a suspect or person of interest in the case.

"We remain committed to finding Maddie and if warranted hold accountable the person or persons responsible for her disappearance," the department said. "Thank you to everyone who has helped in the search for Maddi the outpouring of support has been overwhelming. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts."

Authorities said they are continuing to investigate Kingsbury's disappearance.

Megan Kingsbury said despite the lack of updates, the family is still hopeful that her sister will be found alive.

"I have become very numb. It's hard to see into the future, to, you know, think about normal things you would think about like future vacations or my wedding next year or, you know, even things that I want to do this summer ... I just can't even think about stuff like that," she said. "We still have hope that we are going to find her. In what condition, we don't know. It's hard to wait, it's hard to patient. There's really no words to describe. It's horrific and traumatic. This has been like the worst month of our live for sure."

Authorities have repeatedly said Kingsbury's disappearance is believed to be "involuntary" and "suspicious."

They have put out requests for residents of Winona and surrounding counties to check their properties.

In their update last week, authorities said they were partnering with the Kingsbury family to request all property owners in Winona, Fillmore and Houston counties place a blue checkmark on their property if they consent to having it searched. A blue ribbon will also be placed on properties that have already been checked.

"Volunteers will only be looking for Maddi, signs of a disturbance or something out of the ordinary," police said. "They will not be entering any homes or other structures on the property and will follow all state and local laws and postings on the property. Volunteers will also confirm with the property owner that it's okay to search. Once they have searched volunteers will tie a blue ribbon around a mailbox or post letting others know the property has been checked. If you have already searched your property, you can also tie a blue ribbon outside to let others know."

The morning of her disappearance, Kingsbury and her ex both dropped their children off at daycare, which Kingsbury's family said did not appear to be unusual, based on interviews police conducted with the daycare's owner.

Speaking to NBC affiliate station KARE 11, Megan Kingsbury said she last heard from her sister in a text message the morning she went missing.

"I had sent her a funny photo the night before," she told KARE 11 in an interview.

The image was a memory from a trip the two had been on last summer.

"She didn't see it until that morning. She just kind of sent a response back, 'lol,'" Megan Kingsbury said. "I had responded to it just kind of general chit chat. That was at like 8:15 that she sent me a message and that was the last that I heard from her."

Police said Kingsbury, who often worked from home, didn't arrive for work that morning as she usually does.

The father of Kingsbury's children told authorities he left the home around 10 a.m. in the minivan she normally drives, a 2014 Chrysler Town and Country colored dark blue. When he returned home, he told police Kingsbury was not there.

That same van has been at the center of much of the investigation since.

Police said they believe a similar van was seen on County Road 12 and Highway 43 in Winona County and traveled southbound on Highway 43 through the eastern part of Fillmore County. Later, the van was seen traveling back toward Winona County on Highway 43.

The sightings were reported between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. the day she went missing, though police did not say who was driving the van. The vehicle was parked in the driveway of Kingsbury's home after 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.

"Nothing to date has indicated that Maddi left the residence on foot or in another vehicle," Winona Police Chief Tom Williams said.

Police have said Kingsbury's van was taken and processed for evidence.

"We have worked closely with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to identify and process any available forensic evidence," the department said.

Family members said Kingsbury would not have disappeared on her own and had big plans for her future, being in grad school and looking at a possible promotion in her field.

In an interview with KARE 11, Megan Kingsbury said her sister was in the process of trying to move out of the home she shared with the father of her two children, whom she was no longer dating.

While she was searching for a new place to live, family said Kingsbury was looking to stay in the Winona area so her children could still see their dad.

"She didn't want to necessarily take them away from anybody," Megan Kingsbury said.

KARE 11 reports Kingsbury's ex, Adam Fravel, released a statement through his attorney last month.

"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," the statement read. "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. I want that more than anything. Law enforcement advised me on April 2nd that they would not recommend that I attend the press conferences or that I assist in the searches due to safety concerns. However, my non-attendance and silence has been inferred by many as a sign of apathy, or worse. That could not be further from the truth. I want Maddi home and for her to be able to be with our two children. God Bless the Kingsbury family and please bring her home safely."

Authorities said tips continue to pour in with the case, but they acknowledged information being released is limited to avoid jeopardizing their investigation.

"We understand just how much the community wants answers and we are asking everybody to be patient as the investigative process unfolds. We remain confident we will find Maddi and bring her home to her family," the department said in a previous release.

Kingsbury's family released a lengthy message earlier this month. (Read more here.)

A reward is being offered for information leading to Kingsbury's whereabouts.

Anyone with information is being asked to call the Winona Police Department at (507) 457-6492 or anonymously at Crime Stoppers by calling (507) 457-6530 or emailing winonaareacrimestoppers.com.

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