Community rattled after body of Madeline Soto found

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Residents in St. Cloud set up a memorial along the road near where Madeline Soto was found.

People dropped off flowers, rosaries, and stuffed animals near the location where 13-year-old Madeline Soto’s body was found. Many who live nearby were heartbroken to hear of her death.

“I don’t even know the girl and I’m getting choked up. It’s just sad that it happened and she didn’t deserve that,” said Jimmy Carpenter whose family lives nearby.

“I felt devastated,” added Vanessa Concepcion who also lives close to the area. “I felt like it was something so messed up that no one should ever go through that.”

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said a tip led law enforcement to her body near Hickory Tree Road in St. Cloud Friday afternoon. Jason Garcia used to ride past near where her body was found on the way to school.

“It’s definitely heartbreaking because it’s close to home and when I saw where she was basically found, I was like wow I used to take the bus every day so it was something that just broke my heart,” said Garcia.

Madeline’s body was found in a rural part of Osceola County. Deputies believe Madeline’s mother’s boyfriend Stephan Sterns moved her body and is the prime suspect in her death.

“Nobody should be killed and thrown in the middle of nowhere,” said Concepcion.

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