‘We already called 3 times’: 911 calls shed light on how the search for Madeline Soto began

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Newly-released 911 calls are revealing more details about how the search for 13-year-old Madeline Soto began.


She was reported missing in late February after she never showed up for class.

Days later, investigators declared the case a homicide and located Soto’s body.

READ: Madeline Soto case: Osceola County School District changes absence notification calls

The Medical Examiner’s Office for Orange and Osceola Counties said Thursday that it cannot release its report on Soto’s autopsy, which would reveal her cause of death.

Several calls to 911 dispatchers on February 26 convey a sense of urgency and concern about the teen’s disappearance.

“We have a missing child since this morning,” one caller states. “We already called three times, and the police didn’t show up yet.”

It was the first time deputies in Orange County learned the teen never showed up at Hunter’s Creek Middle School.

“She was last seen at the church next to the school….she was wearing a dark green hoodie,” the call continues. “She’s been missing since 8 a.m.. So we want to get everything done as soon as possible to try and find her.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office released the calls, but redacted the information about who made them.

One of the calls makes it clear that Madeline’s mother, Jenifer Soto, is standing nearby while the caller speaks to dispatchers.

“Are you calling on behalf of the parent,” the dispatcher asks.

“Yes, on behalf of the mother,” the caller responds. “She’s right here.”

READ: Madeline Soto: Story Jennifer Soto gave law enforcement doesn’t line up with what investigators know

Investigators would later name the mother’s boyfriend, Stephan Sterns, as the prime suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.

Sterns told investigators he dropped Soto off in the church parking lot just before school, a day after she celebrated her 13th birthday.

Several days later, her body was discovered in a wooded area in Saint Cloud.

The recordings also reveal how some of the callers started their own search for Soto just after they dialed 911.

“We called everyone we knew,” one concerned caller states. “No one’s seen her.”

Listen to the full 911 calls below:

Another caller revealed what Madeline’s mother did.

“Her mother and (redacted), they are going to the school to double-check and everything, but from what we know, she wasn’t there,” the caller said.

Investigators now say they also believe Soto never made it to school that day, and was actually already dead at that point.

The Medical Examiner said Thursday that Soto’s autopsy will not be released because of her age, and because her death is related to a domestic violence case.

READ: Madeline Soto case: Stephan Sterns faces 60 new charges

Stephan Sterns is currently being held in the Osceola County jail for child sex crimes.

No charges have ben filed related to Madeline Soto’s death.

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