Man admits to hiding, burning body of Aprina Paul
TOWN OF PORTER—A town of Porter man has admitted to Rock County investigators that he hid and burned the body of a Dane County teen last week, Sheriff Robert Spoden said Tuesday.
Nathan C. Middleton said he was with 18-year-old Aprina S. Paul when she died at his home but told detectives he did not kill her, Spoden said.
After she died, Middleton admitted he hid Paul's body and later burned it in his backyard fire pit, Spoden said.
Middleton, 29, remains in custody at the Rock County Jail on suspicion of probation violation.
Four days after he told investigators they would find Paul's body in his yard, launching an intensive weekend search and investigation, Middleton still has not been charged with a crime.
Paul's family scheduled a vigil Tuesday night at Penn Park in Madison, according to WMTV-TV.
Middleton has told detectives his version of events, though Spoden declined to say how he claimed Paul died.
Authorities still are approaching the case as a death investigation, Spoden said, not a homicide.
“He's offered an explanation of her death, but we have no way of confirming that,” Spoden said.
While they have not yet found evidence that points to homicide, Spoden said, they are still suspicious.
“We find it very disturbing that Mr. Middleton went to the lengths he did to cover up the death of this woman,” Spoden said. “Most people, if someone were to die in their presence, would not respond with that type of an action … They don't just hide a body and burn it.”
Investigators from the sheriff's office and coroner's office are optimistic they can find a lab that will determine a cause of death from the burned remains they found in Middleton's yard, Spoden said.