Felony charges filed against man accused of burning woman's body - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Felony charges filed against man accused of burning woman's body


JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- The man accused of burning the body of a missing Fitchburg woman is now officially charged.

Nathan Middleton, 29, made his first appearance in Rock County Court Wednesday afternoon by video conference. After weeks of gathering evidence and a confession from Middleton, officials are confident two felony charges are valid.

District Attorney David O'Leary is bringing charges of hiding and mutilating the body which authorities believe to be that of Aprina Paul. If convicted, Middleton faces more than 32 years in prison, plus authorities say his probation for previous crimes is likely to be revoked, so he'll have to serve another seven years too.

Rock County officials say Middleton turned himself in and told investigators he burned the 18-year-old woman's body in a fire pit at his Evansville home. Investigators found female human remains in that fire pit and are confident they belong to Paul, but that has not been officially confirmed.

O'Leary says it took weeks to bring charges against Middleton because of the condition of the remains. The bone fragments are so severely burned they're unidentifiable and little DNA is available for study. State investigators were able to determine the fragments were female, human bones.

"Once that was done then we were able to file charges, however the testing continues to be done," O'Leary says.  "We had to send some of those bone fragments to a lab out of state for DNA testing to verify they were in fact the victims."

Sheriff Robert Spoden says it's unlikely the testing will determine a cause of death or whether drugs were involved.

Middleton told investigators he met Paul on Craigslist, picked her up and brought her to his home. He said the two had sex, Paul took an unidentified drug, and he later found her dead. He maintains he did not kill Aprina Paul, and Sheriff Spoden says we may never know the truth.

"It is very disappointing that we have not been able to uncover evidence that would lead to: number one, what was the cause of death and number two, exactly what happened in that house," Spoden tells 27 News. "We've used every resource we can, we're going to continue to push this case but at the end of the day it's just very tragic."

Spoden says he hopes he can bring some closure to Paul's family. He asks anyone with any information about Paul or Middleton to call authorities.

Middleton remains in Rock County custody on a $100,000 cash bond. His next court appearance is a preliminary hearing, scheduled for December 18. Detectives are expected to testify at that hearing about their investigation at Middleton's home.


EVANSVILLE (WKOW) -- Two felony charges will be filed on Wednesday against the Evansville man accused of burning a teenager's body in his backyard.

Nathan Middleton faces felony charges of hiding a corpse and mutilating a corpse after admitted he burned the body of 18-year-old Aprina Paul last month.

Middleton also faces four misdemeanor charges and has been in the Rock County Jail since November 1 on a probation hold.

According to the State Journal, Middleton has not been charged with homicide but officials at the Rock County Sheriff's Department say he could spend up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of both felony charges, in addition to the time he'll serve for violating his probation.

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