Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
Minnesota Mom Missing Under 'Suspicious' Circumstances 'Chuckled About A Funny Photo Exchange' In Last Texts To Sister
"The last communication that I had with her was on the morning of March 31," said missing Madeline Kingsbury's sister. "We were chuckling about a funny photo exchange between us."
As search efforts for missing Minnesota mother Madeline Kingsbury enter their 10th day, her worried sister has shared the subject matter of their final text exchange.
"The last communication that I had with her was on the morning of March 31," Megan Kingsbury, wearing a sweatshirt printed with her missing sister's face, told Fox News. "She had sent me a text at about 8:15 in the morning, we were chuckling about a funny photo exchange between us. That was the last exchange with me, or with my family or her other friends."
“I talk to her multiple times on a daily basis — FaceTime, phone, text,” Megan said of her 26-year-old sister. “Even the rest of my family. She’s just in constant communication with us about every minute detail."
The Kingsbury family first realized something was awry when none of them had heard from Madeline by that evening.
"[That evening,] my mom actually sent me a message asking if I had heard from my sister that day because my mom had sent some messages that had no response," Megan said in interview published Saturday. "When she said that, I was kind of like, 'Oh, I guess you're right, she was supposed to come visit my house the next morning with her daughter and typically we would have discussed those plans.'"
The 26-year-old never picked up her two children, aged 5 and 2, from day care that evening, according to ABC News. She and her kids' dad reportedly dropped them off at day care just after 8 a.m., before returning to her Winona, Minnesota home, where she was last seen. She never reported to her job at Mayo Clinic.
The children's father, who has not been identified or named as a person of interest, told police that he left the house on Kerry Drive in Kingsbury's dark blue 2014 Chrysler van around 10 a.m. before returning that day to find their mother gone.
Authorities believe a van matching that description traveled from Winona to Fillmore County between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., according to the New York Post, although they did not specify whether the woman's husband was driving the vehicle at the time.
The department is asking residents with security cameras between the City of Winona, Wilson Township and Hillsdale Township to check their footage for a dark minivan "driving by or stopping," according to The Daily Mail.
On the evening of March 31, Megan "started connecting with [Madeline's] friends seeing if any of them had heard from her," she told Fox, but none of them had.
Later, police would find the woman's ID, cellphone, wallet and the jacket she wore that morning left in her home.
Now, her panicked family is offering a $50,000 reward for any information regarding her whereabouts.
"The children need their mother. We need our daughter, our sister, our aunt, our best friend back," Megan pleaded.
Although no arrests have been made and no suspects have been announced, Winona Police said at an April 5 press conference that foul play is suspected in the young mother's disappearance.
"We believe Maddi's disappearance is involuntary, suspicious and we are all concerned for her safety," Winona Police Chief Tom Williams said.
Nothing suggests that the woman left the home on foot or in another vehicle, he said at the conference.
Unlike Madeline's parents and siblings, the woman's husband was notably absent at the press event.
But Megan evaded questions about her sister's husband in the Saturday interview, addressing theories contrived by online sleuths.
"There's a lot of speculation, of course, with people coming up with theories and asking us a lot of questions that we can't answer," the sister said. "We just want to keep the focus on finding her. We're asking people keep their eyes and ears open."
More than 2,500 volunteers came out on Friday and Saturday to search for the mother, Winona Police said in a statement, allowing them to cover a lot of ground.
“There’s been divers looking in the waters, people scouring the plains and trucking through the woods, law enforcement on ATVs and horses,” Megan told Fox News.
Searchers were advised that they would face "rough terrain" over "long distances" in the effort. The search area, spanning over 120,000 acres, includes several lakes, swamps, mountainous areas, woods and flat farmland.
"It's a lot of land to cover, and a lot of different terrain to cover. It's been difficult because of that," Megan told Fox. "It's like, well s***, she can be anywhere."
The Winona Police Department stated in a press release that the search for Madeline "is not ending and neither is the investigation into her disappearance."
“As we develop new leads and new search areas, teams of law enforcement officers will do targeted searches," the agency wrote.
Kingsbury is described as being 5 feet, 4 inches tall, police said. She weighs roughly 135 pounds, has brown hair and hazel eyes. The phrase "from the ashed a fire shall be woken" is tattooed on her side, a floral piece adorns her upper right shoulder and the Hawaiian term "ohana" is tattooed on the left side of her stomach.