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Madeline Soto planned to run away due to alleged sexual abuse by her mother’s boyfriend

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Madeline Soto, missing, dead
Madeline Soto planned to run away before her death (Photo: Carlos Moreno)
  • Madeline Soto planned to run away.
  • Police found details on her cell phone.
  • They believe she was being sexually abused.

As the investigations progress, the more disturbing and heartbreaking Madeline Soto’s story becomes.

The 13-year-old was found dead in a wooded area after being reported missing.

After the arrest warrant for the main suspect in her murder was leaked, it was revealed that she had allegedly been the victim of sexual abuse by her mother’s boyfriend for two years.

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Madeline Soto was allegedly being sexually abused

Madeline Soto, cell phone, disappearance, crime, death, murder
PHOTO: Carlos Moreno

«Stephan Sterns, 37, was already sexually abusing Madeline in August 2022, when she was 11 years old,» according to the affidavit that was made public.

The name of the victim is not revealed in the document, but there are two indications that they refer to her.

First, the date of birth of the victim matches hers and the word «missing» is included.

Additionally, WFLA reported that the data provided coincides with the statements given by the Kissimmee Police Department.

Disturbing images were found on Stephan Sterns’ phone

Madeline Soto, cell phone, disappearance, crime, death, murder
PHOTOS: Carlos Moreno

It was reported that Sterns’ phone contained disturbing videos and photographs dating back to August 2022.

The outlet stated that the Kissimmee Police Department reported that Soto was a victim of sexual assault and evidence suggested that Sterns was involved.

At first, Sterns allegedly tried to reset his cell phone to erase all evidence linking him to the girl.

This was announced by detectives on the day of his arrest on Wednesday, February 28.

Stephan Sterns could face the death penalty

police, USA, patrol, officers, crime

PHOTOS: Carlos Moreno

Sterns is being held without bail on two counts of sexual assault of a minor and charges of possession of child sexual abuse material.

If found guilty of charges of sexual assault of a child under 12, Sterns could face the death penalty.

The investigation indicates that before her tragic end, Madeline Soto had tried to escape the abuse.

This comes after her cell phone was recovered from a garbage container by police.

Madeline Soto wanted to escape the abuse

victim, homicide, forest, messages, phone
PHOTOS: Carlos Moreno

Madeline reportedly texted her friends that she would «rather live in the woods» than in that house with her mother’s boyfriend.

That evidence was interpreted by authorities as one of the reasons why she was wandering near the Methodist church on the morning of February 26 when she disappeared.

In conversations with friends, Madeline had said that she wanted to run away when she turned 13. Her birthday was one day before she disappeared.

All this evidence will be corroborated when the prosecution makes its official statement and details what really happened.

Rest in peace Madeline Soto

Madeline Soto, cell phone, disappearance, crime, death, murder
PHOTOS: Carlos Moreno

For now, the investigation into Madeline’s disappearance and subsequent death continues.

The community calls for justice to be done and for her abuser to be locked up.

Marcelino Rivero traveled from Palm Beach to honor Maddie, and shared his impressions about the case with MundoNow.

«It is very, very sad news that that 11-year-old girl was being abused and then when she turned 13 they killed her,» he said.

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