A girl from Florida is still missing after her mother’s boyfriend was arrested for troubling pictures

In a disheartening turn of events, the Florida community and local authorities are intensifying their search for 13-year-old Madeline Soto, who vanished under alarming circumstances.

Madeline was last seen on February 26, and the primary individual connected to her disappearance, Stephan Sterns, 37, has been arrested following the discovery of deeply troubling evidence.

Sterns, the boyfriend of Madeline’s mother, was the last known person to have seen the teenager before her disappearance. His arrest came after investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office uncovered graphic and illegal content on his mobile device. The content, described as “criminal and sexual in nature,” has led to charges including sexual battery and possession of child sexual abuse material.

The investigation into Madeline’s whereabouts took a sinister turn as detectives delved into Sterns’s phone data, revealing attempts to erase evidence. This critical discovery prompted further scrutiny into Sterns’s activities and his immediate environment, revealing that the alleged criminal acts took place at the family residence in Kissimmee.

In response to these findings, the Kissimmee Police Department has joined forces with the Orange County criminal investigations division to pursue the sexual battery case with renewed vigor.

Sterns, having been brought in for questioning, chose to invoke his right to legal representation and was subsequently detained, facing a likely scenario of no bond, as indicated by the sheriff’s department.

Sheriff John Mina expressed profound disappointment at Sterns’s lack of cooperation, emphasizing the urgency and importance of uncovering details about Madeline’s disappearance.

“Stephan Sterns had an opportunity tonight to come clean with detectives and help lead them to information about Maddie’s disappearance,” Sheriff Mina stated, underscoring the collective resolve of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) and the Kissimmee Police to unravel the mystery of Madeline’s whereabouts.

As the community reels from this unsettling incident, the description of the missing teenager has been widely disseminated in hopes of aiding her recovery. Madeline was last observed wearing a green sweatshirt, black shorts, and white Crocs shoes.

Law enforcement and Madeline’s family are urging anyone with information to come forward and contact authorities immediately through 911, the OCSO at 407-836-4357, or the Central Florida Crimeline.

The St. Cloud Police Department, located in proximity to the ongoing investigation, has also taken to social media to spread awareness and solicit public assistance in locating Madeline. In these trying times, the community’s vigilance and cooperation are crucial in piecing together the events leading to Madeline’s disappearance and ensuring her safe return.