WINONA, Minn. — Thursday won't be easy for the family of Madeline Kingsbury.
"Since I'm older, I've been there for all of her birthdays," said Maddi's sister, Megan Kingsbury. "This year obviously is different. And it's heartbreaking."
Barring a huge development in the case, Maddi's 27th birthday will take place on the 63rd day she's been missing, with big sister Megan being denied their yearly low-key traditions.
"I'd probably go down over the weekend for a visit, do something with her and the kids, go to lunch. Go to her favorite coffee shop in Winona," Megan said.
Maddi was last seen on the morning of March 31 when she and ex-boyfriend Adam Fravel dropped off their kids at daycare.
Maddi's kids are now staying with her parents, but a child protection trial is looming next week with Fravel wanting the kids returned to him.
Both sides acknowledge in court filings the reason Winona County is fighting that placement, that investigators suspect Fravel is involved in Maddi's disappearance. That being said, he has not been charged in the case.
Megan says Maddi's kids, ages 2 and 5, are doing well — considering everything that's happening.
"She (Madeline's 5-year-old daughter) knows that mommy is lost. She doesn't really know what that means but she knows that everyone's looking for her and we tell her 'Wherever Mommy's at, she wishes she was here with you guys,'" Megan told KARE 11's Lou Raguse.
"We just want to have as many as possible signifying her and lighting the way home for her since we don't know where she's at yet," Megan explained.
And Reagan Outdoor Advertising is donating billboard space on her birthday to keep people thinking of Maddi as her family waits for answers.
"It's hard to describe. I really wish that even if she couldn't be here in person, we would at least know where she's at or what happened to her," Megan said.
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