Police are investigating the suspicious disappearance of a mother who was last seen at the end of March dropping her two young children off at day care with the kids’ father.
Madeleine Kingsbury, 26, was last seen on March 31 at the day care shortly after 8:00 a.m., according to police. In an April 5 news conference, Winona Police Chief Tom Williams said that she didn’t show up for work, which was “very unlike her,” and was seen returning to her home at around 8:15 a.m.
Family members are offering a $50,000 reward for information about her whereabouts as police and volunteers scour fields, woods and waterways in and around Winona, Minnesota, about 115 miles southeast of Minneapolis.
They’re searching for clues to the disappearance of the “hardworking, dedicated” mother of a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old.
“Please help us find Madeleine,” said her sister, Megan Kingsbury, the news conference. “The children need her mother. We need her daughter, her sister, her aunt, and our best friend back.”
Megan Kingsley said it was unusual for her sister not to respond to her texts.
In an interview with ABC St. Paul affiliate KSTP, she shared their last text exchange, a “funny picture” from a summer family trip to Rhode Island.
“She replied, kind of laughing at the photo, and that was it,” Megan Kingsbury said, according to the news station. “It was the last message that I got from her.”
At last week’s press conference, police said they had no suspects or “persons of interest” in the case but were concerned for her safety after she failed to respond to calls from family.
Williams said that the father, who he did not identify, told law enforcement that he left home that day in Madeleine Kingsbury’s dark blue Chrysler Town and Country van around 10 a.m. He told police that when he returned later, she was not home.
Nothing indicated she left the residence on foot or in another vehicle, Williams said. Police found the jacket she had been wearing that morning and her wallet and ID inside the home.
He said police believe her disappearance is “involuntary” and “suspicious.”
“We are all concerned for her safety,” the police chief added.
Police and residents have been searching on foot, in vehicles, and by water and air through fields and woods while investigators have spoken with family and friends.
“We are doing everything we can to bring Maddie home,” the chief said. “No stone is being left unturned, and we are using every tool at our disposal to find her.”
Police have enlisted the help of residents in and around Winona and Fillmore counties, asking them to walk their properties, check outbuildings, and look for signs of a disturbance.
The chief asked residents to check any property cameras, including doorbell and security cams, covering the time period from 8 a.m. on March 31 to 4 p.m. on April 1, and contact law enforcement if the van is seen on the footage.
“We also ask that you check the video for a dark blue minivan driving by or stopping, regardless of whether you see something or not,” the chief said. “Your information might be the final piece that brings Maddie home. This is an extremely difficult time for Maddie’s family and friends who want nothing more than to have her home.”
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