(WINONA, Minn.) — A Minnesota mother of two has been missing for nearly a week under “suspicious” circumstances, said police, who are investigating whether foul play is involved.
Madeline Kingsbury, 26, was last seen Friday morning, police said. She and her children’s father dropped the children off at a day care shortly after 8 a.m. before returning to her home in Winona, according to Winona Police Chief Tom Williams. The children’s father told police he left the house in Kingsbury’s van around 10 a.m., but when he returned later that day, Kingsbury was not there, Williams said at a press conference Wednesday.
Kingsbury did not show up for work that day. She also did not respond to “numerous” calls and messages from friends and family and failed to pick up her children from day care that afternoon, which is “extremely out of character for her,” police said.
“We believe Maddi’s disappearance is involuntary, suspicious and we are all concerned for her safety,” said Williams.
There is no indication Kingsbury left home on foot or in another vehicle, and her cellphone, wallet and ID were found in the house, Williams said.
Investigators obtained surveillance video showing a van matching the description of Kingsbury’s leaving and returning to the area of her home between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Williams said. Authorities said they could not share information at this time on who was driving it.
“Based on the investigation, we know that the children were dropped off at the day care and that the van returned home,” said Williams, adding that “the investigation is still open and ongoing as to what happened upon returning home.”
Williams asked residents in surrounding areas to check their home cameras for signs of a dark blue minivan “driving by or stopping.” The Winona Police Department has also requested that residents of Winona and nearby Wilson Township and Hillsdale Township search their property “for anything suspicious that may help find Madeline.”
Authorities said they have not identified any suspects or persons of interest.
Kingsbury’s family announced Wednesday they are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.
“Please help us find Madeline,” her sister, Megan Kingsbury, said during emotional comments at the press conference. “Her children need their mother. We need our daughter, our sister, our aunt and our best friend back.”
Her sister described Kingsbury as a “hard-working and dedicated mother” who works for the Mayo Clinic and is a graduate student.
Her children — a 2-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl — are safe, the police chief said.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting in the investigation.
“We are very hopeful we will find her,” Williams said.
Police described Kingsbury as 5-foot-4 and weighing 135 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Winona Police Department at 507-457-6288.
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