Linda Stoltzfoos Case: New Details From Preliminary Hearing; Tips Still Sought

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Case

Several new details were revealed at an Aug. 5 preliminary hearing about the investigation of Linda Stoltzfoos’ abduction.

Justo Smoker, 34, is charged with kidnapping Stoltzfoos on June 21 as she was walking home from church.

Following a 2½-hour preliminary hearing, the charges were held for disposition in Lancaster County Court.

The whereabouts of Stoltzfoos, an 18-year-old Amish woman, remain unknown.

Police continue to ask the public for information, which can be provided by clicking the SUBMIT button at the bottom of this page, or by calling police at 717-291-4676 or 717-299-7650.

According to preliminary hearing testimony from East Lampeter Township police and Pennsylvania State Police:

- Linda “was content with her Amish lifestyle. Nobody we spoke with reported she was unhappy in any capacity.”

She was “timid in groups” and in public. She never had any boyfriends or non-Amish friends.

- Police searched Linda’s bedroom and found: her money was still there, along with her travel bag and all other belongings. The only things missing were her church clothes.

Police checked for activity on Linda’ bank accounts as recently as Aug. 5 – there has been none.

- Witnesses saw an Amish female in a red car on the afternoon Linda disappeared. That was ‘extremely noteworthy’ because Amish females typically would not be alone in a vehicle wearing a head covering.

One witness said, “she looked at me with pleading eyes.”

- As for the red car, Justo Smoker was seen cleaning it a few hours after Linda was abducted. Smoker also sent a Facebook message stating he was cleaning his car.

Smoker told police no one else drove his car around the time of the abduction, and that he was not in that area on June 21 – when police showed him surveillance images, he said the vehicle appeared to be his.

- On June 23, a witness saw Smoker’s car parked near a wooded area where police later found Linda’s stockings and bra buried. A plastic zip tie also was found in that area.

The witness photographed the car - it matched Smoker's registration.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright

Date: 
Friday, August 7, 2020 - 8:45am