Paradise man charged with abducting Linda Stoltzfoos, who is still missing

Regional News

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa (WHTM) — East Lampeter Township police arrested 34-year-old Justo Smoker on Friday with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment of 18-year-old Amish woman Linda Stoltzfoos. Smoker is currently in jail.

Stoltzfoos has been missing since June 21. She was last seen walking home from church in the Bird-in-Hand area. Her whereabouts remain unknown.

According to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office, investigators have reason to believe Stoltzfoos was harmed following the kidnapping.

During the arraignment Saturday, District Judge Joshua Keller made Smoker ineligible for bail due to the nature of the charges and the pending investigation.

Police searched a rural area in Ronks Friday night where they believe she might have been taken. Smoker’s car was seen parked there on June 23.

Investigators found clothing believed to be Stoltzfoos’s buried in a wooded area.

Smoker became a person of interest after police received information about a red/orange car seen in the Gap area on the afternoon of the abduction.

Multiple witnesses in that area reported seeing an Amish woman in the passenger seat of a car driven by a man. Witness descriptions are consistent with Smoker and his car.

Police say surveillance video enhanced by the FBI shows the abduction on Beechdale road. That video shows a red Kia Rio involved in the abduction.

Beechdale Road would have been part of Stoltzfoos’s walking route back home after church.

Saturday night, community members came together for a prayer meeting.

“We felt the need that we had to be here and pray for her, whatever the outcome is,” said Marlene Liese.

“I’ve just been so amazed at how the entire community has come together with Linda to come together to pray for her and also to just be there for the family,” said Mervin Smucker.

Investigators are asking for help from anyone who has any information about Smoker or his red Kia Rio sedan during the time of the abduction.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the recovery of Linda Stoltzfoos.

After Stoltzfoos disappeared there were several large scale searches to try and find her, but the searches never gave police clues as to what happened.

If you have any information please contact police at 717-291-4676.

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