WINONA, Minn. — More than two months after Winona resident Madeline Kingsbury went missing, police confirmed Thursday that remains found in rural Minnesota on June 7 belong to her.
The same day Maddi's remains were found police arrested her former partner and biological father of her children, Adam Fravel, on suspicion of second-degree murder.
At a press conference Thursday, Winona Police Chief Tom Williams said the property where Maddi's remains were found, a wooded area off a gravel road near Highway 43 just north of Mabel, Minnesota, had previously been searched but her body was concealed and not visible at that time. Williams told reporters "digital evidence" led a Fillmore County deputy back to that spot Wednesday, and remains were discovered.
An exam by the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that the remains recovered from the remote property belong to Maddi Kingsbury.
"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, as several people at the press conference sobbed audibly.
Authorities said the remains were found around 1:30 p.m., and Fravel was arrested at a residence in Mabel at 5:20 p.m. without incident.
Madeline's family reacted to the arrest of her former partner ahead of Thursday's press conference, praising investigators and expressing optimism that Fravel will be held accountable for her death.
"We’re relieved that Madeline has been found after months of intensive searching and grateful for the extraordinary efforts by law enforcement, other first responders and volunteers," said Maddi's father David Kingsbury in a released statement. "We’re certain that the correct person has been arrested, will be appropriately charged, and convicted of his crimes. Things are moving in the right direction there and we look forward to getting justice for Madeline. For right now we will mourn as a family and properly and respectfully lay her to rest."
Chief Williams acknowledged that the 69 days of not knowing Kingsbury's fate or whereabouts have been extremely hard on Maddi's family, friends, law enforcement and community members who joined together to search for her. "But during this time, her family never gave up, law enforcement never gave up, the community... never gave up," Williams said. Maddi was 26 when she disappeared, and would have turned 27 on June 1.
WATCH: Police update arrest in Kingsbury case
Authorities refused to answer detailed questions about the investigation or potential charges, insisting they did not want to jeopardize Fravel's prosecution. Chief Williams did say that investigators will continue to work the case, and "will hold anyone involved in Madeline's disappearance accountable, and we are here to tell you we will hold steadfast on that commitment."
When asked by a reporter if he thought additional people may be involved in her death, Willams would not comment further.
Since she disappeared, Maddi's former partner has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence in the case.
"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," he said in the statement 12 days after Kingsbury was reported missing.
This is a developing story. KARE 11 will provide more details as new information becomes available.
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