Winona County takes custody of Madeline Kingsbury's children, father denies claims

The father has denied any involvement in Kingsbury disappearance and said he is cooperating with law enforcement. He has challenged the protective custody petition.

Madeline Kingsbury Update
Winona Police Chief Tom Williams speaks during a media briefing on the disappearance of Madeline Kingsbury on Friday, April 7, 2023, in Goodview, Minnesota.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

WINONA — Winona County has taken control of the children of Madeline Kingsbury with a district court judge ruling that the father, Adam Fravel, had no custodial rights to the children.

The Winona Police Department notified the Winona County Health and Human Services on April 4, 2023, that a 72-hour hold on the children, ages 5 and 2 years old, due to the mother being an endangered missing person.

Kingsbury has been missing since March 31, 2023. A flurry of sealed search warrants have been issued in Winona County since then and thousands of people, including law enforcement have scoured the surrounding area in search of the woman.

Fravel has denied any involvement in Kingsbury disappearance and said he is cooperating with law enforcement. He has challenged the protective custody petition and a court date regarding the matter is scheduled for May 15, 2023.

Police have said they do not have a suspect in the case and have not accused Fravel of any wrongdoing.


Kingsbury was last seen around 10 a.m. March 31 by Fravel at her Winona home when he left in her van, a dark blue Chrysler Town & Country minivan, according to Winona Police Chief Tom Williams. When Fravel returned later that day, Kingsbury was not home, Williams said.

A $50,000 reward has been offered in the search for Kingsbury.

"We are asking everyone to be patient as the investigative process unfolds. We remain confident we will find Maddi and bring her home to her family," according to a statment by WPD.

According to court documents:

When social workers and law enforcement went to pick up the children, who had been staying with Fravel at a family's residence, Fravel and his family became non-cooperative,

Madeline Kingsbury missing poster

At one point, Fravel locked himself in a bathroom with one of his children. Social workers could hear Fravel shouting expletives.

The family told county officials that their lawyer advised them to keep the children in the home so they could not be removed and Fravel threatened a lawsuit.

An order issued by District Judge Mary Leahy stated that there were reasonable grounds to believe the child were in danger due to their surroundings and current conditions.


Fravel, through his attorney, Thomas Braun of Restovich, Braun & Associates, has denied the claims made in court documents submitted by the county.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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