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Alleged Killer’s Social Media Activity Supports Disney Cast Member Claim

Stephan Sterns Disney cast member
Credit: Madeline Soto/Orange County Jail/Orange County Sheriff's Office

WARNING: The following article mentions and/or discusses topics that may be distressing for certain audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

On March 2, the search for the missing 13-year-old Orlando girl, Madeline Soto, came to a heartbreaking end. Madeline had been reported missing on February 26 at approximately 8:30 p.m. Just hours before Madeline’s body was discovered in a wooded area, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office had said they were confident that she was no longer alive.

missing teen madeline soto

Credit: Family of Madeline Soto

Related: Body of Missing Individual Found Near Disney After 10 Years

On February 29, police arrested Stephan Sterns, the boyfriend of Madeline’s mother. According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, disturbing images had been found on Sterns’ phone during the investigation into Madeline’s disappearance. Sterns was arrested on charges of sexual battery and possession of child sexual abuse material.

Stephan Sterns arrest

Credit: Orange County Sheriff’s Office

Shortly after Sterns’s name was made public, it was discovered that he was allegedly a Disney World cast member. Disney quickly released a statement saying that he was not a current cast member. However, they would not say if Sterns had been a cast member at any point in time. Sterns’s Facebook page said he was a cast member, but didn’t say when he allegedly worked there.

Frequently Giving Disney Advice

Stephan Sterns was very active on social media, including platforms like Reddit. Internet users dug in and found old posts where Sterns shared advice about visiting Walt Disney World Resort. More than once, he referred to himself as a cast member.

#StephenSterns explains his work as a cast member
#MadelineSoto

Sterns’ last post on Reddit was made just nine days before Madeline was reported missing. He responded to a claim that another Reddit user had made. The Reddit user said that cast members seemed to be lower energy and wondered if there was anything they could do.

Sterns — under the Reddit name u/Sustinet — defended cast members and said that people have no idea what cast members go through and how hard their jobs can be.

You clearly have no idea what these jobs involve, how hard these CMs work every day, or the amount of BS they endure. Just waving people onto a ride? No. If that’s all you think it is, then I suggest you go try it out.

Also, look at corporate wage gaps across all the major US companies. The information is only a Google search away. The numbers will absolutely shock you. Do higher-ups deserve better pay than a bottom level employee? Absolutely, they have the schooling and the skills. But do they really deserve over 3000% more than a basic employee? That’s where the debate comes in. These CMs are working their asses off.

Do you think you’re putting in a lot of steps on your Disney vacation? Try doing it every day, all year round. Now sprinkle a little bit of getting screamed at by a guest because their child is too short, now add a dash of being understaffed to the point that your area can’t assign any assist roles, and now you’re doing the work of 2 CMs, now slash your areas budget to the bone, so that equipment starts to deteriorate, supplies run out, and maintenance suffers, but you’re still expected to give 110% effort, now get screamed at some more, oh and bonus perk, you’re legally responsible for the safety of everyone on that ride and in that attraction area, also, work faster, because efficiency is a high priority, but don’t screw up or you’re fired, but go faster still.

There are people who avoid attractions because of the stress it involves, I know people who left that role because they couldn’t take the pressure anymore. People who are running so hard that they struggle to keep weight on and are constantly sick because they interact with thousands of people every day. I already shared Chapeks numbers for 2022, and now Iger came in and got over 30 million in compensation for 2023. Your argument is not valid. Sorry. You’ve been brainwashed into thinking all of this is perfectly acceptable and that it even makes sense.

This is just one company, and so many more of them are doing it too, this is why inflation is high, cost of living is so high, and the average person is struggling more and more every year. Corporate greed has been allowed to run rampant and has gone unchecked for so long that this country is basically just owned and run by corporate entities at this point.

Cast Member disney world

Credit: Disney

Not the Only Cast Member in the Family

A little internet search indicates that Sterns was not the only current or former Disney cast member close to Madeline Soto. According to her LinkedIn profile, Jenn Soto — Madeline’s mother — is a current Disney World cast member. And she has been a member of the Disney family for years.

Ms. Soto’s profile says that she is currently a vacation planner at Walt Disney World Resort. It says that she has been there since March 2022. And, before that, she claims to have worked as a Reservation Sales Agent at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels. Her profile says that she had that job for just under three years.

Jenn Soto LinkedIn

Credit: LinkedIn

While they originally cooperated with police, both Jenn Soto and Stephan Sterns have refused to talk to them further. Ms. Soto and the rest of Madeline’s family have also stopped talking to the press.

Sterns has not yet been charged with Madeline’s murder. However, it is possible that he could still face the death penalty in the Sunshine State. In October 2023, a new law went into effect allowing prosecutors to seek the death penalty for those found guilty of the rape of a child under 12 years old. We do not know what material was found on Sterns’s phone, but we do know that Madeline turned 13 just days before she went missing.

We continue to keep the friends and loved ones of Madeline Soto in our thoughts and prayers. 

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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