Madeline Soto: Kissimmee police chief says detectives can’t be rushed in their investigation

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Kissimmee police Chief Betty Holland held a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss her agency’s investigation into the death of 13-year-old Madeline Soto -- almost one month after her initial disappearance.


But Holland provided no major updates on the case during that news conference. Instead, she recounted a timeline of the case, outlining details that have already been made public.

She said that she understands the immense public interest in the case and is committed to keeping the public informed of developments as new details come to light.

But Holland stressed the importance of not rushing detectives in their “meticulous” investigation.

Read: Madeline Soto: A timeline of her disappearance & death

She said detectives have been “relentless” in investigating what has proven to be a “complex” case.

“Our questions are being answered,” Holland said. “Slowly but surely.”

Soto’s mother reported her missing in late February after she never made it to Hunter’s Creek Middle School.

Read: Madeline Soto: Story Jennifer Soto gave law enforcement doesn’t line up with what investigators know

The missing girl’s body was found March 1 in a wooded area near St. Cloud.

No one has been charged in Soto’s death, but investigators said Stephan Sterns -- the boyfriend of Soto’s mother -- was the prime suspect in her disappearance and the last person to see her alive.

On March 12, he was charged with 60 counts of child sex crimes after police said they discovered graphic photos and videos on his cellphone.

Read: Madeline Soto case: Stephan Sterns faces 60 new charges

“Mr. Sterns is not going anywhere,” Holland said Thursday. “He’s in jail, and he’s going to be there for a while.”

Sterns is being held at the Osceola County Jail.

Watch updates to this developing story live on Channel 9 Eyewitness News.

See Thursday’s full news conference below:

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.