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

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

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

After a four-day search, the native sheriff’s workplace mentioned it was “confident” that she was useless. The grim discovery was made a number of hours later.

Her mom’s boyfriend, Stephan Sterns, is lead suspect and in police custody on sexual battery and possession of kid sexual abuse materials costs.

Here is all the things we all know in regards to the Madeline Soto case thus far.

When did Madeline Soto go lacking?

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

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

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

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

However, the woman by no means confirmed up for sophistication. Her mom solely found that Madeline was lacking when she went to select her up from college later that day.

More than 50 legislation enforcement officers spent the times following Madeline’s disappearance looking for her in close by woodland. Officers had discovered messages on her telephone that she mentioned 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 found

Sheriff John Mina mentioned he had met with Madeline’s mom on Thursday night time to inform her he was “confident” that her daughter was useless and that his deputies had been now on the lookout for her physique.

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

”At 8.19am, we now have proof that reveals Stephan Sterns returning to the complicated and Madeline was seen in that car. We consider she was already useless at the moment,” the sheriff mentioned.

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 woman

“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 mentioned in a press release.

“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 is foremost suspect

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

The workplace shared a video of the suspect in handcuffs.

At Friday’s briefing, Sheriff Mina mentioned that investigators consider Mr Sterns dumped Madeline’s belongings earlier than transferring her physique, somewhat than taking her to high school as he had initially claimed.

Kissimmee Police Department has Mr Sterns in custody. He is being held on sexual battery and possession of kid sexual abuse materials costs.

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

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

(Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

Madeline’s mom will not be thought-about a suspect right now.

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 mentioned. “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 held on Friday night.