MADELINE SOPHIA SOTO

If you have seen Madeline, or if you have any information about where she might be, please call 911 or the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 407-836-4357.

Madeline Soto was reported missing in Kissimmee

MADELINE SOPHIA SOTO, 13, WAS REPORTED MISSING ON MONDAY 26 FEBRUARY AT AROUND 8.30AM.ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE (OCSO) SAID THAT SHE WAS LAST SEEN OFF VILLAGE PARK DRIVE IN KISSIMMEE, NEAR ORLANDO, HEADING TO SCHOOL.

MADELINE WAS DESCRIBED AS WHITE, 5’1” TALL, WITH BLONDE HAIR AND BLUE EYES. SHE WAS WEARING A GREEN SWEATSHIRT, BLACK SHORTS AND WHITE CROCS. HER MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND, STEPHAN STERNS, CLAIMED THAT HE HAD DROPPED HER OFF NEAR TO HUNTER’S CREEK MIDDLE SCHOOL ON TOWN LOOP BOULEVARD AROUND 8:45 AM. HOWEVER, MADELINE NEVER SHOWED UP FOR CLASS. HER MOTHER DISCOVERED THAT MADELINE WAS MISSING AFTER SHE WENT TO PICK HER UP FROM SCHOOL LATER THAT DAY.

MADELINE’S BODY WAS FOUND ON MARCH 1, 2024. STEPHAN STERNS HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH SA AND THE MURDER OF MADELINE SOTO. GRAND-JURY DOCUMENT

Madeline Soto was reported missing in Kissimmee

Madeline was first reported missing on the morning of Feb. 26 after she didn’t make it to school that morning. Investigators determined, however, that she was never actually dropped off at school and it was likely that she was already dead at this point. Her body was found in rural Osceola County on March 1.

Stephan Sterns was charged with her murder on April 24, nearly two months after she was first reported missing. He currently remains in custody. In an update from the State Attorney’s Office this week, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in this case should he be convicted. CASE FILE

Jennifer Soto

She said that the last conversation she had with her daughter happened the night before her disappearance.

Madeline was Spotted Walking by a church. The cameras saw her hanging out in the parking lot and then getting up and leaving. They didn’t see a vehicle or anything else.

Around 9 am, she headed toward the school but never made it.

The principal called her. They looked at all the cameras; she didn’t think the cameras caught anything because it was too far away and grainy.


Stephan Michael Sterns

Soto told Channel 9 that her boyfriend, Stephan Sterns — who is now the prime suspect in Madeline Soto’s death — had taken the girl to school.

February 28, 2024, an Emergency Arrest Warrant was issued for Stephan Sterns.

Detectives have determined that Madeline was never dropped off on the morning of February 26 near her school instead they believed she was already dead at the time and that Stephan Sterns moved her body in the early morning hours on that day.

Timeline – Madeline Soto

02/22/2024, Thursday – Madeline Soto turned 13

02/25/2024 3:00 pm Madeline’s party at grandmother’s house

02/25/2024 8:30 pm JS’s sister dropped Madeline off at home after the party.

02/25/2024 SS tells JS that MS has taken her “nighttime medicine” and was getting ready for bed.

02/25/2024 10:30 pm JS got home from work

02/25/2024 11:00 pm JS got a new job and needed a rest, so she told Stephan and MS to sleep upstairs while she slept downstairs.

02/26/2024 7:00 a.m.-7:15 a.m.: SS told detectives that he and Madeline woke up to get an early start so they could get McDonald’s on the way to school.

02/26/2024 – 7:35 a.m. SA, discarding a trash bag filled with items in the trash compactor of his apartment complex. In the video, there is a female wearing a green sweater, believed to be Madeline, in the front seat of the vehicle. The female appeared completely slumped over with her mouth “ajar.”

02/26/2024 7:50 a.m. Stern’s car leaving the apt complex through the back gate wearing a red shirt and a female wearing a green sweater. The female appeared to be **sitting upright with her head slumped to her left side.** She was belted into the seat

02/26/2024 8:19 a.m. Sterns, entering through the front gate of the apt complex in his car. There is still a passenger in the car, believed to be Madeline, **in the same position as she was before.**

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02/26/2024 09:00-9:30 am JS gets out of bed and heads to a dr appointment.

02/26/2024 9:40 a.m. Video shows Sterns vehicle pulling into a Holiday Inn on S. John Young Parkway.

02/26/2024 9:42 a.m. Sterns wearing a red shirt exits the car and opens the trunk. He opens the passenger side door and carries what appears to be a limp body to the trunk of the vehicle.

02/26/2024 9:44 a.m., he’s seen driving away

02/26/2024 10 am, SS calls JS to tell her he and MS didnt end up getting McDonald’s as planned because MS was too tired. He also explained to her that he accidentally left his phone at the apartment.

02/26/2024 11 am & 11:15 am Jen returns home from a doctor’s apt. SS was home at that time.

02/26/2024 – 1:20 pm: He is seen changing a tire on Old Hickory Tree Road. He is Wearing a Green/Light brown backward. The car was facing Harmony.

02/26/2024 – 4:30 p.m. – Jenn Soto goes to pick up Maddie from Hunter’s Creek Middle School and finds out her daughter did not attend a class that day. JS reported MS missing.

02/26/2024 4:35 p.m.: Multiple cameras captured what is believed to be Sterns arriving to the complex trash compactor in the silver Lincoln sedan. According to documents, he removed a tire, or what appeared to be the tread of a tire, and tossed it in the compactor.

02/26/2024 Stephan Sterns was interviewed. He gave consent to search his phone but stated that he had accidentally performed a factory reset earlier.

02/26/2024 8 p.m. – Madeline was reported missing. Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies met her mom at school, canvassed the area, and searched with a bloodhound, but they had no success.

02/27/2024 10 PM – Jenn Soto interviews with FOX 35, and Sterns appears in the background

02/28/2024 – 4 pm – Sheriff Mina said Madeline Soto had left her phone at home on Monday, the day of her disappearance. When deputies searched it, they learned that Soto had told her friends that she wanted to “live in the woods” after her 13th birthday, triggering a search in the woods area behind Hunter’s Creek Middle School. LE received a Stephan Sterns phone content. Emergency Arrest Warrant was issued for Stephan Sterns.

02/28/2024 9:52 p.m. Sterns arrested on unrelated charges, named ‘prime suspect’ in Madeline Soto case

Stephan Sterns has not been charged with murder but has been arrested on other charges. The Kissimmee Police Department is the lead on the sexual battery case, working alongside the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Division.

7:35 a.m. Monday, Investigators say they have video evidence of Sterns dropping some items in that dumpster

8:10 a.m.: A License Plate Reader captured Stephan’s vehicle with the Florida tag “TYLL82” driving away from the school during school hours.

8:19 a.m. The video shows Sterns returning to the apartment complex, showing what appears to be Soto’s body.

1:20 pm: He is seen changing a tire on Old Hickory Tree Road. He is Wearing a Green/Light brown backward. The car was facing area of Harmony.

CASE FILED 02/29/2024 CASE NUMBER 2024 CF 000632

CASE FILED 03/01/2024 CASE NUMBER 2024 CF 000643

MARCH 2 – Sterns waived his first appearance in the Osceola County court, instead being represented solely by his attorney. The judge granted Sterns no bond.

MARCH 6 – Kissimmee police announced they were continuing to investigate Soto’s death. Released court records show that Sterns is accused of sexually abusing Soto for years. Despite Sterns’ attempts to wipe his phone, investigators were able to recover files showing the sexual abuse, which stemmed back as far as 2022, an arrest warrant affidavit says.

MARCH 12 – The Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office announced that it filed 60 counts against Sterns READ HERE

02/29/2024 Kissimmee Police Department releases Stephan Sterns’ arrest affidavit

March 1, 2024 1 p.m. Sheriff Mina announces investigators “are now confident” missing 13-year-old Madeline Soto is dead. Deputies believe that Madeline Soto was never dropped off at school on Monday morning and was dead before then. They also said Sterns allegedly moved her body in the morning hours of that day after killing her in Kissimmee. Officials said Sterns was last seen in this area between 1 and 2:30 p.m. on Monday and might have been changing a flat tire here at that time.

March 1, 2024 Body Found on Hickory Tree Rd, where the body was found, is located either on the Hickory Tree Road in St. Cloud.

The police believe Madeline may have been killed at the family’s Kissimmee residence.

No details about injuries or the condition of her body were made available when she was found.

“We believe he moved her body in those early morning hours, and all that is still under investigation,” Sheriff Mina said.

The State Attorney’s Office for the 9 th Judicial Circuit has filed 60 new criminal charges against Stephan Sterns (DOB 04/25/1986), the man associated with the Madeline Soto case.

Shortly after Madeline Soto’s disappearance, several disturbing images and videos were found on Stephan Sterns’ phone.

The City of Kissimmee Police Department quickly arrested Sterns, who remains in custody with the Osceola County Department of Corrections on no bond.

The investigation revealed more images and videos depicting criminal acts. The Kissimmee Police Department provided this evidence to the State Attorney’s Office, which found cause to file the following charges:

  • Eight counts of Sexual Battery on a Child Under 12
  • Five counts of Sexual Battery with a Child 12-18
  • Seven counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation
  • 40 counts of Unlawful Possession of Materials Depicting Sexual Performance by a Child 10 or More Images