close Fox News Flash top headlines for March 5 Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for March 5

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on

Join Fox News for access to this content Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge. Please enter a valid email address. By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided. Having trouble? Click here.

Florida officials are asking authorities to open an investigation after a photo showing the body of a missing teen after she was found dead was mistakenly posted to social media. 

A screenshot posted to Instagram, which was shared with Fox Orlando, appears to show the body of Madeline Soto in a grassy, wooded area. 

The office of the State Attorney Ninth Judicial Circuit has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to open an investigation into the matter, the news outlet reported.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office told Fox Orlando that an investigative photo was “accidentally” included in a photo collage intended to showcase Sheriff Marcos Lopez’s attendance at a community event for seniors.


Missing girl Madeline "Maddie" Soto

Madeline Soto never made it to school on Feb. 26, and was found dead days later, authorities said.  (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

“A post was made on social media about a community event for seniors. In the post, an investigative photo was accidentally included. The photo was immediately removed. We deeply apologize for any confusion or disturbance this may have caused,” the sheriff’s office said.

State Attorney Andrew Bain’s office told the outlet that Bain was “deeply disturbed” that the photo was “carelessly made public” but that he didn’t believe it would impact the investigation. 

“While I do not believe these photos will have any evidentiary impact on the case as of now, they were released in poor taste. Our main focus is making sure we get justice for 13-year-old Madeline Soto,” he said.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the Florida State’s Attorney’s Office, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


Stephan Sterns mugshot

Stephan Sterns, 37, was named a “prime suspect” in the investigation into the disappearance of his girlfriend’s 13-year-old daughter, Madeline Soto. (Orange County Corrections Department)

Soto, 13, was found dead days after she went missing on Feb. 26, when she never made it to school.

“Instead we believe she was already dead at the time and that Stephan Sterns moved her body in the early morning hours on that day,” Orange County Sheriff Sheriff John Mina said last week. 

Soto’s body was found on March 1. 

Sterns was the boyfriend of Madeline’s mother, Jenn Soto, and he is now the main suspect in the case. He was arrested last week for unrelated capital sexual battery charges, Kissimmee Police Chief Betty Holland said. 

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has also been criticized over a second photo posted by agency Executive Director Nirva Rodríguez that shows her in front of Sterns, who is handcuffed. Rodriguez posted the image to her Facebook page with the caption written in Spanish but translated to: “If God’s love has been poured out over your life, don’t allow evil to keep you away from what He has prepared for you,” the Tampa Bay Times reported. 

Florida officials ‘confident’ Madeline Soto is dead as mom’s boyfriend becomes main suspect Video


Former Sheriff Russ Gibson, who is running against Lopez, said he was “shocked and appalled” after receiving both images from concerned citizens. 

“This is 100% unacceptable and 100% shameful and disrespectful to Madeline, her family and friends,” Gibson wrote Saturday on his Facebook page. “I do have a copy of the post but out of respect and reverence for Miss Madeline, the photograph will not be posted. The time for Marcos Lopez and certain members of his administration of dishonoring themselves, our agency, and our great County is coming to an end!”

Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *