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'Every father knows what I'm thinking': Dad of slain daughter, 13, speaks for first time, prime suspect is stepfather hit with 60 child porn charges
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'Every father knows what I'm thinking': Dad of slain daughter, 13, speaks for first time, prime suspect is stepfather hit with 60 child porn charges

The biological father of Madeline Soto – a 13-year-old girl murdered in Florida – has spoken for the first time since the body of his slain daughter was discovered on March 1.

Madeline Soto was reported missing around 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 26 after the 13-year-old girl never showed up for school. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Soto was last seen off Village Park Drive in Kissimmee, near Orlando.

On March 1, Soto's body was found in a rural area of St. Cloud, Florida.

Authorities said Soto's stepfather – Stephan Sterns – was seen in the area changing his tire. Also, Sterns was purportedly seen that morning at a nearby apartment complex in Kissimmee throwing away items in a dumpster. The items were identified as Soto's backpack and her school-issued laptop, according to WOFL.

Sheriff John Mina said of Sterns, "We believe he moved her body in those early morning hours, and all that is still under investigation."

Sterns claimed to have dropped off Madeline at Hunter's Creek Middle School, but she never went inside.

The Daily Mail reported, "Sterns, who has been identified as the prime suspect in her murder, was arrested on child porn charges and sexual battery after police recovered photos and videos on his phone which were described as 'disturbing.'"

In February, the Florida man was arrested and charged with eight counts of sexual battery on a child under 12, five counts of sexual battery with a child 12-18, seven counts of lewd or lascivious molestation, and 40 counts of unlawful possession of materials depicting sexual performance by a child 10 or more.

Law enforcement investigators accessed Sterns' cell phone and discovered "several explicit photos and videos of a young girl that appeared to have been recorded in the Kissimmee home he shared with Soto and her mother," according to Spectrum News 13.

Sterns abused the young girl at least two times when she was 11 and 12, according to the arrest affidavit.

Kissimmee Police Chief Betty Holland noted, "No one is not cooperating other than Sterns."

Thus far, no suspects have been charged in relation to Madeline's murder.

For the first time since his daughter's horrific murder, Madeline Soto's biological father is speaking publicly about the 13-year-old's heartbreaking death.

Tyler Wallace told WFTV on Friday, "I love what I had of her, but we’re supposed to have so much more. Maddie was just the most important person to my wife and I."

Wallace revealed that he had last spoken to his daughter on her 13th birthday – four days before she went missing.

Wallace – who lives in Texas – drove 14 hours to Florida after learning that she had gone missing on Feb. 26.

"Maddie was just the most important person to my wife and I, she was just full of joy," Wallace expressed.

Wallace was asked about Sterns – the "prime suspect" in his daughter's murder.

"As far as I was interpreting his demeanor, he seemed like a warm, interested but not responsive person," Wallace said of Sterns.

However, when asked about what he thinks about Sterns now, Wallace said of the stepfather: "I don't want to say that on camera. I can't communicate to you. Every father knows what I'm thinking right now."

Wallace was asked about what he thought Madeline's mother – Jennifer Soto – may have known about her boyfriend in relation to her slain daughter.

"I don't know and I am interested in knowing but I don't have reason to believe one way or the other right now. These are the things that the investigators are looking into," Wallace explained.

Wallace said Madeline "meant everything to us."

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'The light of my life': Family, community members gather in Osceola County to honor Madeline Soto...www.youtube.com

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Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@Paul_Sacca →