Madeline Soto memorialized in middle school yearbook: 'I miss you so much'

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Thirteen-year-old Madeline Soto has been memorialized in her middle school yearbook.

Orange County Public Schools confirmed that a page of the Hunter's Creek Middle School yearbook has been dedicated to the teenager whose body was found in Osceola County on March 1. Her mother's boyfriend Stephan Sterns was officially charged for her murder in late April.

The yearbook page includes a photo of Soto with the words "rest in peace" and a poem written by a 7th grader Ireland Shaw:

You were pretty you were kind, 

You were everything I liked, 

I couldn't be sad around you even if I tried, 

You were the sun, society is the moon,

If you told us, we all would've believed you,

I miss you, 

I miss you so much, 

But I feel okay knowing your [sic] doing fine up above, 

I'll try not to cry, 

I'll try not to shed, 

But I'll always be lucky you were my friend. 

<div>A page of the Hunter's Creek Middle School yearbook has been dedicated to Madeline Soto, whose body was found on March 1, 2024. (Photo: Orange County Public Schools)</div>
A page of the Hunter's Creek Middle School yearbook has been dedicated to Madeline Soto, whose body was found on March 1, 2024. (Photo: Orange County Public Schools)

Soto was first reported missing on Feb. 26 after her mom went to pick her up from Hunter's Creek Middle School and was told that her daughter was not in class that day. Officials previously said they do not believe the teenager ever made it to school that day.

Orange County Public Schools changing absence notification policy in wake of Madeline Soto's disappearance

Details on how "Maddie" was killed or what happened to her have not been released, including her autopsy report, citing the ongoing investigation. Officials were unable to answer many questions about facts related to the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

"The evidence shows an individual that was entrusted to keep Soto safe made calculated moves to dispose Soto's belongings and place her body in a wooded area before she was ever reported missing," said Kissimmee Police Chief Betty Holland at a previous press conference.

Officials have not shared details on how the Florida teen died or the circumstances surrounding her death. Officials previously said her laptop and backpack were found inside a dumpster at an apartment complex.

Will Jay, chief of the homicide unit at the State Attorney's Office, said right now, Sterns is the only person charged in Soto's death. He said there are no plea agreements on the table, and that the case itself is open and ongoing.

Sterns, who is facing 60 additional charges for sex-related crimes, is set to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on July 10, with a trial scheduled to begin on July 16, court records show.

New documents in the case were obtained by FOX 35 this week, which show the potential evidence prosecutors have gathered during their investigation.

Recently, the state responded to the defense's motion for "demand of discovery," which sought to see what documents, items, phone records, and other elements the state has in its possession before a possible trial.

The five-page document provides an itemized list of what the state has in its possession.

Various statements, logs, and incident reports from the deputies, detectives, and officers involved in the investigation are included.

Florida State Attorney Andrew Bain said his state prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty against Sterns.

"We're still in talks about it. Still discussions among myself and our homicide team. Our executive team, seeing what aggravating, if any, we have, that we can go on," he said.