Community Remembers 13-Year-Old Allegedly Killed by Former Disney World Cast Member

in Disney, Theme Parks, Updates, Walt Disney World

Madeline Soto and Stephan Sterns

Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department

It has been more than six weeks since the body of 13-year-old Madeline Soto was found in a remote area of Osceola County near Pearl Lake. Her mother’s boyfriend, Stephan Sterns, said he took her to school the morning of her disappearance; however, she never arrived.

During their investigation, Orange County Sheriff’s Office detectives said they found what they called “disturbing images” on Sterns’ phone, and a forensic investigation showed that he had tried to delete those images.

Madeline Soto
Credit: The Family of Madeline Soto

Detectives believe those crimes were committed at the family’s home in Kissimmee. Sterns is currently in prison on those charges. He is facing 60 counts ranging from sexual battery to possession of child pornography. He is scheduled to be in court on May 13.

After Stephan Sterns’ arrest, local news began searching for information on social media. On his Facebook account, Sterns claimed that he was a cast member at nearby Walt Disney World. However, Disney World has since denied that Sterns was a current cast member. A representative for Disney World did not respond when asked if he had ever worked at Walt Disney World.

But since his arrest, internet sleuths have found images showing Stephan Sterns working at Journey Into Imagination with Figment at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Despite what appears to be a mountain of evidence against Sterns, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department still has not charged Sterns with the murder of Madeline Soto.

Family Vigil

Yesterday, members of the community gathered for a Vigil on Hickory Tree Road near where Madeline Soto’s body was found to remember the 13-year-old. Her biological father, stepmother, Tatiana Wallace, and other family members attended the vigil.

Tatiana Wallace said to the community members gathered for the vigil:

Let us now allow fear or discomfort to silence our voices or blind us to the dangers lurking in the shadows. Our children deserve to know they are loved, valued and most importantly believed.

Community members brought flowers and balloons to the Hickory Tree Road site to remember Madeline Soto’s life. They were asked to dress in green and lavender, Madeline’s favorite colors.

The Saturday prayer vigil was a chance for community members to tell Maddie’s family just how much they cared for the 13-year-old and to leave items near the spot where she was found.

The Investigation

Despite having a prime suspect in custody, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has made very few comments in recent weeks about the death of Madeline Soto.

According to State Attorney Andrew Bain, police are intentionally keeping quiet about this case because they fear it could be moved out of Central Florida if it becomes too well known. According to the Kissimmee Police Department, Sterns is not cooperating with detectives in their investigation.

With Sterns in prison on the sexual assault charges, investigators can take their time to ensure that he remains in jail for the rest of his life.

We will continue to update this story at Inside the Magic.

in Disney, Theme Parks, Updates, Walt Disney World

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