Former Orlando Police Chief gives perspective on Madeline Soto case

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Friday confirmed that the body of Madeline Soto, 13, has been located.

Orlando, Fl — 13 year old, Madeline Soto, was found dead almost two weeks ago, after she was reported missing for several days.

Stephan Sterns, the boyfriend of Soto’s mother, is the prime suspect in the case, after he supposedly dropped her off at school in the morning, and was the last to see her before she was reported missing that evening.

The Orange-Osceola State Attorneys Office added 60 charges against Sterns on Tuesday, March 12th.

Sterns is being held in the Osceola County Jail with no bond for several charges that include sexual battery on a child, lewd or lascivious molestation and unlawful possession of materials depicting a sexual performance by a child. Sterns was taken into custody on a warrant for a similar charge.

Sterns, however, has yet to be charged in the death of Soto.

State Attorney, Andrew Bain said, “The State Attorney’s Office has been working closely with KPD and received evidence that gave us cause to file formal charges against Stern. We appreciate the thoroughness and detailed attention of their investigation and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to build a strong case against the defendant.”

WDBO spoke with Former Orlando Police Chief, Orlando Rolon, on Orlando’s Morning News Thursday, to get a law enforcement perspective on the next steps in this case.

Orlando Rolon was the 39th Police Chief for the City of Orlando and the first Hispanic to hold the position.

Rolon, with 30 years of law enforcement experience, said, “I believe that the lead agency and the State Attorney’s office is doing their best, although they may have probable cause, they need to prove it in court beyond a reasonable doubt,” Rolon said. “In my opinion, I believe they’re just making sure that they have everything order before a decision is made.”

Rolon said, like many following the case, a question looms on Soto’s mother involvement, if any, did she have in her daughters death and disappearance.

“I think that is one of the most important pieces that the lead agency is having to investigate, and to make sure that they do it thoroughly without jumping to conclusions, without having to support to formally charge someone, I think it’s the biggest challenge for them,” said Orlando Rolon.

The former Orlando Police Chief believes there will be an update given to the general public at a specific time, especially when speculations tend to dominate.

The Orange-Osceola State Attorneys office said Sterns will eventually be arraigned on the new charges, and will continue to work with law enforcement on the investigation of Madeline Soto’s death.

Listen to Former Orlando Police Chief, Orlando Rolon’s perspective on the Madeline Soto case on the Anez Sez podcast: