Florida Man Charged with Murder in Death of Girlfriend’s Teenage Daughter

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





Stephan Sterns, a 38-year-old Florida man, has been officially charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 13-year-old Madeline Soto, his girlfriend’s daughter.

Sterns, who was previously arrested on unrelated charges in February, was named the “prime suspect” in Soto’s disappearance, which occurred between February 25 and February 27. Soto’s body was discovered on March 1, prompting authorities to charge Sterns with murder.

During a news conference, Kissimmee Police Chief Betty Holland stated, “The evidence shows an individual that was entrusted to keep Madeline safe made calculated moves to dispose of Madeline’s belongings and place her body in a wooded area before she was ever reported missing.”

Initially taken into custody for unrelated charges including sexual battery and possession of child sexual abuse material, Sterns was later charged with additional counts related to sexual offenses involving minors.

Although Sterns was the last person known to have seen Soto before her disappearance, the investigation remains active, according to officials. While Sterns faces first-degree murder charges, the possibility of seeking the death penalty is still under consideration by the State Attorney’s Office.

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