Body of missing Florida teen Madeline Soto found, sheriff says

The body of missing Florida teen Madeline Soto has been found, the Orange County Sheriff’s office said on Friday in a statement. 

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office search teams located the 13-year-old’s body at 4:30 p.m. local time off Hickory Tree Road in a wooded area. The teen’s family has been notified, the statement said. Earlier that day, Sheriff John Mina announced that investigators “are now confident” Soto was dead. 

Orange County Sherriff John Mina announces missing Florida teen Madeline Soto’s body has been found.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office

She was last seen around 8:30 a.m. local time on Feb. 26, wearing a green sweatshirt, black shorts and white Crocs shoes, authorities said. 

Body of missing teen Madeline Soto was found on Friday.

St. Cloud Police Department in Florida

Late Wednesday, authorities arrested her mother’s boyfriend, Stephan Sterns, for sexual battery and possession of child sexual abuse material. Sterns, 37, was the last the last person to see her. Authorities said they found disturbing images that were “criminal, and sexual in nature,” on his phone, and said they also found through the phone’s data there were attempts to delete evidence.

Jail records show Sterns is in custody in Osceola County Corrections on charges of sexual battery and possession of child sexual abuse material.

 Caitlin O’Kane contributed to this report.

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