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Missing Minnesota mom Madeline Kingsbury laughs with her kids in 2022 video as special prosecutor is hired

A special prosecutor, who’s “arguably one of the best in the business,” a law enforcement source told Madeline Kingsbury’s family, is now part of Kingsbury’s “suspicious” disappearance, Fox News Digital has learned.

The 26-year-old mom hasn’t been seen or heard from since she dropped off her kids at daycare with the children’s father around 8 a.m. on March 31, and she sent her sister a “goofy” text around 8:15 a.m. the same day. 

Phil Prokopowicz, who served as a chief deputy attorney in Dakota County, Minnesota, before his retirement in 2019, is consulting the Winona County Attorney’s Office, said Bonne Bowman, a spokesperson of Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

“The Winona County Attorney’s Office has brought on Mr. Prokopowicz in a consulting capacity, as they often do for cases that are potentially complex,” Bowman told Fox News Digital in an email. 

MADELINE KINGSBURY: COURT DOCS, MINNESOTA POLICE CONTRADICT CLAIMS FROM FATHER OF MISSING WOMAN’S KIDS

This week, the Kingsbury’s family shared a 2022 video with Fox News Digital of the beloved mom laughing and playing with her kids.

They continue to keep hope alive, but the situation gets dimmer as the days pass. 

FATHER OF MISSING MINNESOTA WOMAN’S CHILDREN BREAKS SILENCE 12 DAYS AFTER SHE VANISHED

Twelve days after Kingsbury’s disappearance, Fravel said in a prepared statement through his lawyer, Zach Bauer, that he “did not have anything to do with Maddi’s disappearance.”

“Over the course of the last 12 days my family and I have been subject to a myriad of accusations regarding the disappearance of the mother of my children,” Fravel said.

Technically, the children are in the custody of Winona County, and a potential trial for parental rights hasn’t been scheduled, as of late Thursday. 

Fox News Digital obtained a trove of court filings as part of custodial battle, including a May 5 letter from Kingsbury’s family’s lawyer that alleged Fravel “was withholding the children from Ms. Kingsbury’s family during this highly emotional time.”

MEGAN KINGSBURY, MADELINE’S SISTER, REACTS TO CUSTODIAL HEARING FOR MADELINE’S CHILDREN:

Four days before the letter was filed, on May 1, the Minnesota Department of Human Services Out of Home Placement Plan said the investigations into Madeline’s disappearance coupled with the fact that Fravel doesn’t have custodial rights doesn’t create a safe home for the children with Fravel. 

Winona County will meet with Fravel and his lawyers to “establish necessary/appropriate services to assess his ability to provide day-to-day care for the children and ensure safety and well-being,” the May 1 filing says. 

madeline kingsbury

Minnesota mom Madeline Kingsbury, 26, was last seen dropping her children off at daycare around 8 a.m. on March 31 (Winona, Minnesota, Police Department)

Photo of Madeline Kingsbury's family

Madeline Kingsbury’s family wearing custom-made sweatshirts during their search with her description and contact information for tips (Megan Kingsbury)

Megan told Fox News Digital in a previous interview that there’s been radio silence from Fravel and his family, despite several attempts by Megan and her family to talk to them. 

Law enforcement has been tightlipped about the case, because they said providing details “would jeopardize our ability” to find Kingsbury and, “if warranted, hold accountable the person or persons responsible.” 

Madeline Kingsbury taking a selfie

Minnesota mom Madeline Kingsbury, 26, was last seen dropping her children off at daycare around 8 a.m. on March 31 (madeline kingsbury/Facebook)

Her disappearance was described as “suspicious” and “involuntary,” according to Winona Police Chief Tom Williams.

The area in and around Winona County, Minnesota, is near the Mississippi River and includes hundreds of thousands of acres swamps, flat farmlands, woods and bluffs, as well as several bodies of water. 

Madeline Kingsbury search

Law enforcement and first responders in and around Winona, Minnesota, continue their search for Madeline Kingsbury. (Winona County Emergency Management)

“I want to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude,” Stephen said. 

“We have, in a short period of time, rallied for Madeline and created/maintained a group of passionate and motivated folks from across the state who care for and love Madeline with such an intensity that I have no doubt in the steadfastness of our mission.”

Police said tips from the public have been integral to the investigation. People can call 1-800-222-TIPS or go to crimestoppersmn.org.

Police have also asked to preserve any surveillance footage from March 31 and April 1, even if there appears to be nothing on them. 

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