Madeline Soto case: New docs reveal key items collected as evidence in Florida teen's disappearance, death

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New documents regarding the homicide case of Madeline Soto reveal some of the evidence Orange County investigators collected in the days after the 13-year-old girl was reported missing. 

According to Orange County Sheriff's Office property forms, numerous items were collected from a car and a residence.

On. Feb. 28, two days after Madeline was reported missing, investigators impounded evidence from what is believed to be a Lincoln vehicle – due to multiple Lincoln emblems reportedly found in the vehicle. 

Stephan Sterns, the man facing a first-degree murder charge in the Kissimmee teen's death, told police he allegedly dropped her off at school the day she was reported missing while driving a silver 2010 Lincoln MKZ, officers said. 

Inside the car, deputies uncovered items such as latex gloves, cloth gloves, a knife, a towel, a rag and a blanket, according to documents. Other items such as a white rope, a trash bag, and a white towel were found in the vehicle's trunk, the documents revealed.

Madeline Soto, 13, was reported missing on Feb. 26, 2024, in Orange County, Florida. 

On the same day, Orange County detectives collected evidence including a bottle of "masturbation cream," boxers from laundry, a pink strawberry Snuggie, a purple comforter, underwear and a phone tripod from a residence, the document showed. It did not reveal what home the evidence was collected from. 

Madeline was first reported missing by her mother, Jenn Soto, on Feb. 26 after she did not attend class at her Orange County middle school after allegedly being dropped off by Sterns.

Deputies searched the area where Sterns claimed to have last seen Madeline, using a canine unit that was unable to detect her scent. Her body was found days later on March 1 in a rural area in Osceola County.

Investigators believe Madeline was likely killed before the school day began.

In April, a grand jury indicted Sterns on a charge of first-degree murder in her homicide. 

Officials have not shared details on how Madeline died or the circumstances surrounding her death. Sterns has not provided a motive in the girl's death, officials said.

A judge has scheduled a pretrial conference for July 10. The jury trial is currently scheduled for July 16.