Search for Missing 13-Year-Old Girl Ends in Tragedy

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the tragic discovery of a 13-year-old girl’s body in a wooded area. The girl, identified as Madeline Soto, had been reported missing earlier in the week when she failed to arrive at school. The grim news was announced shortly after authorities expressed their suspicion that the boyfriend of the girl’s mother may have been involved in moving the body.

Law enforcement officials reported that Madeline’s body was found on Friday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. The family of the young girl has been informed about the heartbreaking find. Sheriff John Mina, in an earlier news conference, expressed confidence that Madeline was no longer alive, based on unsettling video evidence.

The video in question allegedly shows Stephan Sterns, the boyfriend of Madeline’s mother, disposing of items in a dumpster located behind their apartment building in Kissimmee. Madeline’s mother, Jenn Soto, initially believed that Sterns was responsible for taking Madeline to school. However, upon discovering that Madeline never made it to school, she reported her missing.

Authorities initially believed that Sterns had dropped Madeline off near her school. However, further investigation revealed that Sterns had not dropped her off at all. Video evidence seems to show Madeline in the car when Sterns returned to the apartment complex, leading police to suspect that she may have already been deceased at that time.

During the investigation, Madeline’s school-issued laptop and backpack were found discarded in the dumpster. Sterns was arrested on Wednesday night on charges of sexual battery and possession of child sexual abuse material. Authorities allege that Sterns had explicit and criminal images and videos of an underage girl in his possession. The identity of the girl in the videos is yet to be confirmed, but authorities believe the crimes occurred at the family home in Kissimmee.

Madeline’s mother is not currently considered a suspect in the ongoing investigation.