Nearly a year after her death, letter is sent to family of Aprin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Nearly a year after her death, letter is sent to family of Aprina Paul claiming she was murdered

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MADISON (WKOW)-- Alice Larrue's life was turned upside down Wednesday, by a letter she got in her mailbox.

The printed name on the envelope says Nathan Middleton, the man convicted of burning and hiding the body of Larrue's daughter, Aprina Paul. The return address says Columbia County Correctional Facility, where Middleton is currently serving a 22-year sentence, and the envelope is stamped by the Wisconsin Prison System. The letter tells a different story of how Paul died on October 27, 2013 than the one Middleton told police.

"I was scared, nervous, I didn't know what do think," Larrue says. "All kinds of things were running through my mind. I never expected to read something like this."

Aprina Paul disappeared the night of October 27, a few days before her remains were found in a fire pit at Nathan Middleton's Evansville home. Detectives investigated and Middleton admitted to burning her body and hiding her remains. He maintained Paul died from a drug overdose.

"Alice, I know you would never think that I would write you or even think that you would want to hear from me," Larrue read from the letter.  "But if you just read this letter and hear me out, what I have to say, you'll be shocked and forgive me."

The letter claims another person, Middleton's friend, was with him the night Aprina Paul died and that this man killed Paul while Middleton was in the bathroom.

The letter withheld information regarding how Paul actually died and the writer says they will only reveal the details of Paul's death if a return letter is sent.

"I feel like he's trying to play mind games with me," Larrue says.

27 News is not naming the man implicated in the letter, but detectives say he was questioned and cleared in their investigation. Detectives also say Middleton has sent multiple letters to this other man while in prison. They have interviewed him multiple times during the case, but detectives say he has an alibi for the night Paul died.

Larrue says she held the letter for several minutes, struggling to believe what she was reading. The seven-page letter contains a lot of conflicting information that's difficult to understand. Her confusion was quickly replaced by frustration.

"Why wait until now? Almost a year later to say these things? How come you couldn't say that in the beginning?" asks Larrue.

Middleton is under a court order to not make contact with Aprina Paul's family and Larrue is surprised a letter found its way to her address. She's concerned it wasn't stopped by correctional workers in Columbia County.

"We have a lot of questions," Larrue says.

Rock County detectives are now working to determine whether or not the letter actually came from Middleton.

"I don't know what to believe at this time, but I just know that I believe the part about her being murdered, because I knew that," Larrue says. "Deep down inside I always knew and felt that she was murdered."

Larrue is hoping the letter helps clear her daughter's name by showing that she didn't take and overdose on drugs. She's upset with the way her daughter's reputation was sullied during the case.

"I didn't want her to be remembered in those bad ways, because she wasn't a bad person at all," Larrue says.

Detectives say Middleton could face more charges if it's proven he contacted the family. A spokesperson for the Columbia County Correctional Facility tells 27 News inmate mail is subject to restrictions. They're trying to determine if proper protocol was followed in this case.


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