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Suspect in burn-pit death in court

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler NewsS)   Rock County sheriff's officials are still waiting for forensic evidence to determine if a woman was murdered while being burned in a fire pit. 29-year-old Nathan Middleton of Evansville stood mute during his arraignment yesterday. A judge entered innocent pleas to hiding and mutilating a corpse, and attempted escape. A trial date could be set at the next hearing in the case, set for March 6.

Prosecutors said Middleton admitted burning 18-year-old Aprina Paul of Fitchburg outside his rented house last fall. Sheriff Bob Spoden said his investigators are waiting for an analysis of bones found near the pit to determine if Paul may have been murdered. Prosecutors said Paul answered Middleton's ad on Craigslist for sex. The defendant reportedly told deputies they had sex at his home, where Paul took drugs -- and he found her dead the next morning, panicked, and burned her body.

About a month after he was arrested, officials said Middleton wrote a letter to his mother, asking her to blow up a window at the Rock County Jail so he could escape and they could run away to Mexico. She never received that letter.