AP NEWS

April rampage draws attention to 2015 Kansas disappearance

June 23, 2019
This undated booking photo provided by Rice County Sheriff's Office shows David Madden, of Alden, Kan. A rampage in which Madden wounded two Kansas law enforcement officers, killed his father and then turned the gun on himself on April 29, 2019, in a rural area has drawn fresh attention to the 2015 disappearance of his girlfriend. (Rice County, Kan., Sheriff's Office via AP)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An April rampage in which a man wounded two Kansas law enforcement officers, killed his father and then killed himself has drawn fresh attention to the 2015 disappearance of his girlfriend.

David Madden, a 37-year-old former Marine who was found dead after a standoff with law enforcement in Rice County, had a history of run-ins with the law. Friends and relatives say he had abused, locked up and kidnapped Megan Renee Foglesong before the then 21-year-old went missing in late November or early December of 2015.

But despite being identified for years as a person of interest and later a suspect in Foglesong’s disappearance, Madden was charged only with unrelated crimes, records show. With no sign of Foglesong, law enforcement officers were stymied and worried for their safety.

“It is my concern Madden is paranoid, and possibly preparing himself for a confrontation with (law enforcement officers) if he is charged in the disappearance” of Foglesong, Ellinwood Police Chief Chance Bailey wrote in a June 2016 memo after seeing Madden running through a residential area and removing a gun from him. “Please pass this information on to your officers to use extreme caution if they have contact with Madden. Madden could see any routine traffic stop as an attempt to make an arrest on the disappearance.”

The first public record that indicates concern about Madden’s interaction with Foglesong was a frantic 911 call in December 2014 from Madden’s friend Kelly Starnes, who reported that Madden had kidnapped Foglesong from Starnes’ Barton County home.

Starnes, now 55, said his former friend had a propensity for violence. On the 911 recording, which the Associated Press obtained through an open records request, Starnes can be heard telling a dispatcher: “He has threatened to put her in a straightjacket. He has thrown her in a closet. He has threatened to kill her.” He added: “He is a loose cannon. He is ex-military. He hates the government. And he hates cops.”

Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said that when law enforcement in neighboring Rice County located Foglesong in Madden’s home, she said she was fine and hadn’t been kidnapped, which ended the investigation. Foglesong then spent the next several months with her father and stepmother in Oneida, Illinois. While there, she wrote to Starnes in a letter that he provided to the AP, “Thank you again, and I’m so sorry too. NEVER AGAIN!”

But by the following summer she had returned to Kansas and resumed her relationship with Madden, whose criminal record included three 2007 battery convictions.

Foglesong’s stepmother, 43-year-old Dawn Foglesong, was worried.

“I kept trying to tell her it is just going to get worse, it’s not going to get better.” She said the last time she talked to her stepdaughter was the day before Thanksgiving in 2015. Her stepdaughter told her that Madden was being released from jail that day after being arrested for driving on a suspended license. Megan Foglesong told her stepmother she had left him and was safe with friends.

As before, they didn’t stay apart. Megan Foglesong said several days later in a Facebook message to a friend that she was back with Madden. And then there was silence. Her stepmother said she “just started feeling sick about it, like something wasn’t right” and began digging. People told her that her stepdaughter’s boyfriend was “bad news” and more ominously that “he murked her,” slang she learned stood for murdered.

Starnes also was growing concerned, especially after Madden told him, “No one will ever have to worry about her again.” Law enforcement later said in social media posts that “foul play may be involved” in Foglesong’s disappearance.

Numerous searches of the area yielded no trace of Foglesong, including one in 2017 in which authorities chased Madden through two counties before finding two dozen pipe bombs in his home, along with an illegal AK-47 assault rifle. He was sentenced to probation on state charges of attempting to elude a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault.

But he violated the probation and then in April was indicted on federal charges in connection with the rifle. John Ham, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said he didn’t know why it took so long for that charge to be filed.

When a Rice County undersheriff attempted to take him into custody with a traffic stop near Sterling, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Wichita, Madden opened fire. The undersheriff, who was hit four times, is expected to recover. Madden then fled to his home in Alden with an unidentified woman and child in his car. After retrieving weapons, he went to the home of his father, Thomas Madden, near Raymond, and fatally shot the 65-year-old. Madden later shot the sheriff, who had located him at his father’s house, in the leg, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said. Madden then killed himself, officials say.

It’s unclear where the search for Foglesong stands. Kansas Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Melissa Underwood described the case as being “actively investigated.”

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