Madeline Soto timeline: Only Channel 9 speaks with Maddie Soto’s father

ORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9 sat down with Madeline Soto’s biological father regarding her death and disappearance.


Investigative reporter Shannon Butler spoke to him about Maddie and her life.

“I miss her so much. I’m just trying to do her justice,” he said in their conversation.

The full story with Maddie’s father will be on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 6 p.m.

The 13-year-old girl out of Osceola County was reported missing in late February and found dead.

In light of her case, Orange County Public Schools has changed its student absence notification policy.

No charges have been filed in connection to her death, and law enforcement continues to investigate.

Read a timeline of the events involving Madeline Soto:

Monday, Feb. 26

Madeline’s mother, Jennifer Soto, reported to Orange County deputies that her daughter had disappeared.

Read: Orange County deputies search for missing 13-year-old girl

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Channel 9 spoke one-on-one with Jennifer Soto on Feb. 27, a day after her daughter had been reported missing.

Jennifer Soto said that her boyfriend, Stephan Sterns, dropped her daughter off at a church near Hunters Creek Middle School, where she was a student.

Sterns also told investigators Madeline Soto wanted to walk the rest of the way to school, but she never made it.

WATCH: Jennifer Soto, Stephan Sterns speak to Channel 9 about Madeline Soto’s disappearance

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said his deputies were working with several other agencies to search for Madeline Soto in the areas where she was reportedly last seen.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said more than 50 members of its Emergency Response Team were searching for Madeline Soto near Osprey Park on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, the Kissimmee Police Department, in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Office, arrested Sterns on charges of sexual battery and possession of child sexual abuse material.

Thursday, Feb. 29

The Sheriff’s Office then said it believed Sterns never dropped off Madeline Soto and is considered the prime suspect in her disappearance.

Deputies said Sterns was captured on camera throwing her backpack and school laptop into a dumpster on the morning of Feb. 26.

Investigators said Madeline Soto’s body was seen in Sterns’ car before he drove away.

Read: Madeline Soto’s body found in rural Osceola County

Friday, March 1

At 1:30 p.m., Mina held a news conference to say that Madeline Soto had not been located, and he was confident that she was dead.

He said that Kissimmee police would take the lead on the homicide investigation.

Mina confirmed that Sterns never dropped off Madeline Soto near her school Monday morning, as he had claimed.

At 5 p.m., Kissimmee police said that Sterns was at the intersection of East Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway and Old Hickory Tree Road and the intersection of Old Hickory Tree and Nolte Roads between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 26.

Police said they believed Sterns had a flat tire and might have been changing it in the same area.

At 6:25 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office said that Madeline Soto’s body had been found.

Investigators said Osceola County deputies found the body in a wooded area along Hickory Tree Road.

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

Saturday, March 2

Stephan Sterns waived public appearance again on Saturday, while homicide charges are not yet filed for Madeline Soto.

Sterns is being held at the Osceola County jail without bond.

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

Tuesday, March 5

Channel 9 learned that the story Jennifer Soto gave to law enforcement did not line up with what investigators know.

Jennifer Soto said that her last conversation with her daughter happened the night before her disappearance.

But a report Channel 9 obtained on March 5 shows that Soto told deputies that she saw her daughter the morning of the girl’s disappearance.

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

No one has been charged in Madeline Soto’s death. But investigators are looking into who knew what and when. That means they are reviewing the initial interviews of the couple and the ones conducted later on.

Sources told Channel 9′s Shannon Butler that the statements about the timeline of Madeline Soto’s disappearance have not always been consistent.

Tuesday, March 12

Deputies found the missing 13-year-old girl’s body March 1 in a wooded area in rural Osceola County.

Deputies named Stephan Sterns -- Soto’s mother’s boyfriend -- the prime suspect in the girl’s disappearance days before her body was found.

On March 12, the State Attorney’s Office filed 60 new charges against Sterns, including multiple counts of sexual battery with a child and lewd or lascivious molestation.

Sterns is currently being held in the Osceola County jail for child sex crimes.

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

Tuesday, March 12

Orange County Public Schools moved to change the district attendance policy on Tuesday after much concern from parents over the current attendance policy.

There had been a growing number of parents who pushed for change to school absence notification procedure in light of the Madeline Soto case earlier in March. Orange County Superintendent Dr. Maria Vazquez also had said Orange County staff was looking into how school staff could address the issue.

Thursday, March 14

A trial date was set for Stephan Sterns, the prime suspect in the disappearance of 13-year-old Madeline Soto.

A hearing is scheduled for April 24, Sterns’ jury trial for May 13, and his arraignment for April 2.

Thursday, April 4

The Medical Examiner’s Office for Orange and Osceola Counties said Thursday that it cannot release its report on Soto’s autopsy, which would reveal her cause of death.

The Medical Examiner’s Office said the report is “confidential and exempt” from being publicly released because it involves a “minor whose death was related to an act of domestic violence.”

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

Friday, April 5

Newly released 911 calls to dispatchers on Feb. 26 revealed how the search for Madeline Soto began.

“We have a missing child since this morning,” one caller states. “We already called three times, and the police didn’t show up yet.”

It was the first time deputies in Orange County learned the teen had not shown up at Hunter’s Creek Middle School.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office released the calls but redacted the information about who made them.

Read: ‘We already called 3 times’: 911 calls shed light on how the search for Madeline Soto began

Listen to the full 911 calls below:

Friday, April 5

Channel 9 saw the arrest of Stephen Sterns, the prime suspect in the death and disappearance of Madeline Soto, on March 1.

He was accused of having sexual abuse material.

Investigative reporter Shannon Butler obtained the dashcam video of Sterns from an Osceola County deputy’s car.

He does not say much, but it offers a look at his demeanor after Madeline was found dead.

Watch: Dashcam video shows Suspect Stephan Sterns as he was transported to Osceola County Jail

Monday, April 8

Orange County Public Schools started implementing its updated call notification to parents of absent students.

It was the first day for the district to notify parents earlier than noon for students who were not in their first-period classes.

The move followed the disappearance and death of Madeline Soto. Her mother said she didn’t receive a notification that Madeline never made it to school until after the school day ended.

“Sadly, the tragedy with Maddie brought this to light, and we’ve been able to make this change to help our families know if their child is absent in the morning,” said Superintendent Maria Vazquez.

Read: Over 34K calls made to parents on 1st day of updated OCPS absentee notification system

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