Madeline Soto: What we find out about 13-year-old’s disappearance in Florida | EUROtoday

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Police in Florida introduced that they had discovered the physique of discover 13-year-old Madeline Soto on Friday, lower than per week after she failed to indicate up for college in Kissimmee, Florida on Monday morning.

After a determined four-day search, the native sheriff’s workplace stated it was “confident” she was lifeless, with the grim discovery being made a number of hours later.

Her mom’s boyfriend, Stephan Sterns, stays the lead suspect within the case and stays in custody on sexual battery and possession of kid sexual abuse materials prices.

Here is the whole lot we find out about Madeline Soto to this point.

When did Madeline Soto go lacking?

Initially, Madeline Soto, 13, was reported lacking on Monday 26 February at round 8.30am.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office stated she was final seen off Village Park Drive in Kissimmee, close to Orlando, heading to high school.

Madeline was described as white, standing 5’1”, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was carrying a inexperienced sweatshirt, black shorts and white Crocs.

Her mom’s boyfriend, Stephan Sterns, stated he had dropped her off near, however not outdoors, Hunter’s Creek Middle School.

However, she by no means confirmed up for sophistication and it was then reported that her mom solely found Madeline was lacking when she went to select her up later that day.

More than 50 regulation enforcement personnel spent the times following Madeline’s disappearance trying to find her in close by woodland. Officers had discovered messages on her telephone that she stated she wished to stay within the woods when she turned 13.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies search woods in Kissimmee for lacking teenager Madeline Soto

(Orange County Sheriff’s Office/X)

Madeline Soto’s physique was found Friday

Sheriff John Mina stated he had met with Madeline’s mom on Thursday night time to inform her he was “confident” that her daughter was lifeless and that his deputies have been now in search of her physique.

The sheriff defined on Friday that OCSO has video proof, exhibiting Mr Sterns throwing gadgets right into a dumpster behind their house constructing at round 7.35am. Those gadgets included the teenager’s backpack and her school-issued laptop computer.

”At 8.19am, we’ve got proof that exhibits Stephan Sterns returning to the complicated and Madeline was seen in that automobile. We imagine she was already lifeless at the moment,” the sheriff stated at Friday’s briefing.

On Friday afternoon the sheriff’s workplace confirmed that her physique had been present in a wooded space in Osceola County.

Madeline Soto: Sheriff shares replace on lacking lady

“At about 4:30 p.m. today, off of Hickory Tree Road, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office search teams located the body of Madeline Soto in a wooded area. Madeline’s family has been notified,” the workplace stated in a press release on social media.

“We have no additional information to release at this time. Kissimmee PD is the lead agency in this homicide investigation. That work continues.”

Mother’s boyfriend Stephan Sterns is primary suspect

On Wednesday 28 February, OCSO introduced it had arrested Mr Sterns, following the invention of “disturbing images” on his telephone, which he had tried to delete. These pictures and movies have been “criminal and sexual in nature”, the workplace stated.

The workplace shared a video of the suspect in handcuffs.

At Friday’s briefing, Sheriff Mina stated that investigators imagine Mr Sterns dumped Madeline’s belongings earlier than transferring her physique, fairly than take her to high school as he had initially claimed.

Kissimmee Police Department has now taken custody of Mr Sterns and he’s being held on sexual battery and possession of kid sexual abuse materials prices.

Kissimmee PD shared pictures of Mr Stern’s automotive, which he was seen driving between 1pm and a couple of.30pm on 26 Feb. within the space of State Road 192 and Old Hickory Tree Road. It is believed he had a flat tyre on the time.

Madeline’s mom isn’t being thought-about a suspect presently.

Madeline Soto was final seen on Monday 26 February 2024 close to her college in Kissimmee, Florida

(Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

Tributes paid to Madeline

In a press release launched on Friday afternoon, Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr Maria Vazquez paid tribute to their “precious student”.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Maddie’s family and her school community,” Dr Vazquez stated. “To lose a child so suddenly and tragically is extremely difficult especially for family and friends.

“Counsellors continue to be available for any student or staff member dealing with the news. I ask that you keep the entire Hunter’s Creek Middle School community in your prayers as they grieve the loss of one of their own.”

A prayer vigil was deliberate for Friday night in response to the information.