An Evansville man admitted to police the remains of a missing Fitchburg woman could be found in a burn pit on his property, according to Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden.
Spoden said Nathan Middleton, 29, told Fitchburg police he had contact with 18-year-old Aprina Paul, who was reported missing last week. Middleton told police he had contacted Paul on the Internet, and that her remains could be found on his property.
“We do know that even from the statements Mr. Middleton gave, we do know they met through the Internet and that the relationship was brief in nature and wasn’t something that was long term; that they had just recently met. So we’re trying to confirm whether that is the case,” said Spoden.
Spoden said they don't know if Middleton played a role in Paul's death.
Rock County officials said bone fragments found in a burn pit at Middleton's residence have been determined to be female human remains. The coroner has not identified the remains. Spoden said bone fragments would be sent to a firm in Chicago to make an identification.
“Obviously I can tell you it’s concerning anytime someone goes to the length of burning a human body in a fire pit. It is not the normal response for anybody that has a health condition or passes on in your company, so that itself is very troubling,” said Spoden.
Rock County sheriff's deputies have seized numerous items on the property, including items they believe belonged to Paul, according to Spoden. He said some of Paul's property was found in a burn barrel on the property.
Detectives are still looking for Paul's cellphone and continue to interview Middleton.
“We are going to do everything we can at the sheriff’s office and the coroner’s office to bring some justice to this family, and hopefully some closure so they can move on with their lives,” said Spoden.
Middleton is currently being held at the Rock County Jail on a probation violation.
Middleton’s fiancé talked with WISC-TV Monday night.
She said she was not aware of Paul being in their home until Middleton confessed to her last week that he burned Paul’s body on a bonfire in their yard.
Middleton told the same story to investigators.