Madeline Kingsbury’s stepsister has vowed to get justice for the slain mother-of-two in a heartbreaking Facebook post.
Authorities in Filmore County, Minnesota, discovered Kingsbury’s body wrapped in a bedsheet on the side of a highway on 7 June. The 26-year-old had gone missing on 31 March after dropping off her children at school, prompting massive efforts across vast wooded areas in Winona and nearby counties.
Her former partner and the father of her two children, 29-year-old Adam Fravel, has since been charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Prosecutors revealed last week a trove of evidence they say suggests Kingsbury suffered domestic violence at the hands of Mr Fravel.
Reacting to news of Mr Fravel’s arrest, Kingsbury’s stepsister Holly April opened up about feelings of rage and anger following the discovery of Kingsbury’s body. Ms April said she felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of the emotions her family is experiencing as they reel from the devastating loss.
“It has poked its head up sporadically and, until now, I’ve been beating Rage down like a perverse game of whack-a-mole,” she wrote in an emotional Facebook post. “But now Rage is raging. I cannot hold back the feeling of how severely angry I am that “someone” could be so spineless and have the audacity and selfishness to take Maddi’s life.”
“I cannot comprehend how a human could take another human’s life, especially someone as kind and loving as Maddi.”
Ms April went on to describe her step-sister’s murder as “disgusting, sickening, and particularly cruel.”
She said the details about Kingsbury’s death, which was ruled a homicide, were unbearable. However, Ms April reconciled that although rage is a normal step of the mourning process, she wishes to use her feelings as a catalyst for demanding justice for Kingsbury and other victims of domestic violence.
“Not just for Maddi, but for the countless other young women enduring the same plight that Maddi faced,” Ms April wrote. “… Justice will never bring Maddi back, and so at times it feels hollow, but it is the best way we can continue to fight against the evil that ultimately took her young and beautiful life.
“I believe in my heart that the coward responsible will be held accountable.”
According to a criminal filing last week, Mr Fravel choked Kingsbury on at least one occasion and told her that “if she did not listen up, she would end up like Gabby Petito” – the young vlogger strangled by her fiance on a road trip in 2021.
Shortly after her disappearance, a friend of the slain mother told law enforcement that Kingsbury and Mr Fravel, who had a seven-year on-and-off relationship, were having issues. Mr Fravel also told investigators that he and Kingsbury were in the process of separating and both planned to move out of their home.
The alleged murderer was confronted by investigators about remarks he had allegedly made to Kingsbury in reference to the murder of Petito, who investigators determined was choked to death by her partner Brian Laundrie in August 2021.
Mr Fravel allegedly admitted that he was “infatuated” with the highly-publicised case and had told Kingsbury she “would end up like Petito”.
A friend of Kingsbury also told police that she was on a video call with the mother-of-two sometime in 2020 or 2021 when Mr Fravel walked into the room. Mr Fravel then allegedly struck Kingsbury in the face before fleeing the room when he realised he was being observed on the video call.
“The friend told investigators that there were several times during video calls that she observed bruises on Madeline’s face,” the complaint alleged, per KIMT3. “When the friend inquired about the bruises, Madeline would cover them with her sweater.”
Law enforcement learned through phone records that Kingsbury and Mr Fravel discussed an incident in which he allegedly “put his hands around her throat and pushed her down in front of the children.”
“Not okay with it all but especially with them there,” Kingsbury texted Mr Fravel in September 2021. “…You do that again without asking me and you can go somewhere else.”
Mr Fravel replied: “You’ll adjust.”
Kingsbury’s remains were discovered on 7 June after law enforcement conducted searches near an area that had been maintained by “one or more” members of the Fravel family. Her body was located next to a gravel road approximately one mile from the highway.
She was wrapped in a grey bed sheet that was closed with Gorilla Tape. Her head and neck were also wrapped in a knotted towel.
According to the criminal complaint, the tape found at the crime scene matched the type seized from Kingsbury and Mr Fravel’s home. One of the mattresses at the home was missing bedding and had pillows on top with casings of the same colour and fabric as the bedsheet used to wrap Kingsbury.
At the time of Kingsbury’s murder, she and Mr Fravel were engaged in a legal battle for the custody of their two children, aged five and two.
Mr Fravel’s next court hearing is scheduled for 20 July.