Madeline Soto: Bain asks FDLE to investigate how photo of body was posted to Lopez’s social media


ORLANDO, Fla. — Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says they are cooperating and being transparent with FDLE.

FDLE still has not said anything about if they’re investigating. We have just confirmed Bain has asked FDLE to investigate.


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Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Andrew Bain’s office told Channel 9 on Tuesday afternoon that he has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate how a photo of the body of 13-year-old Madeline Soto was released over the weekend.

The photo was posted on Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez’s personal Instagram page less than 24 hours after law enforcement found Soto’s body in a rural area near St. Cloud.

The photo shows a body dressed in the sweatshirt Stephan Sterns said Soto was last seen in.

Lopez said he “accidentally” posted the image while sharing a post about him meeting with senior citizens.

Read: Osceola County Sheriff Lopez apologizes after social media post shows possible body of Madeline Soto

Florida law bans the public release of photos showing the body of a minor without a family’s permission.

The law says anyone who “willfully and knowingly” releases it could face a third-degree felony charge.

Channel 9 has reached out to FDLE about the investigation but has not yet heard back.

Read: Former chief judge explains next step in Madeline Soto case as evidence builds against prime suspect

The Sheriff’s Office was not investigating Soto’s death as Kissimmee Police Department was the lead agency in the case. But the Sheriff’s Office was part of the search for her remains.

So why did Lopez have the graphic photo?

Despite multiple attempts to obtain more information about that, the Sheriff’s Office would not say why Lopez had the photo or who took the picture.

Read: Law enforcement gathers evidence against prime suspect in Madeline Soto case

Channel 9 has also asked if Lopez has personally apologized to Soto’s family.

The Sheriff’s Office did not answer that question but released a statement that said in part, “We deeply apologize for any confusion or disturbance this may have cause.”

Bain told Channel 9 that he is “deeply disturbed” that the photos were “carelessly made public.”

Channel 9 has reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for comment on this latest development.

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

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