Kidnapping suspect held without bail as search continues for missing Amish teen

Walter Perez Image
Monday, July 13, 2020
Suspect held without bail as search continues for Amish teen
A suspect is being held without bail as the search continues for a missing Amish teenager in Lancaster County. Walter Perez reports for Action News on July 13, 2020.

EAST LAMPETER TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A suspect is being held without bail as the search continues for a missing Amish teenager in Lancaster County.

Justo Smoker, 34, is being held without bail on charges including felony kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Linda Stoltzfoos was reported missing three weeks ago by her father after she didn't home from a church youth group meeting.

The suspect was arrested by East Lampeter Township Police after witnesses reported seeing an Amish female in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by a man on the night 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos was last seen.

DA: Man charged with kidnapping, Amish woman feared 'harmed'

Investigators say those accounts are consistent with surveillance video from that night showing Stoltzfoos walking down a road near the town of Bird-in-Hand shortly before recording images of a vehicle registered to Justo Smoker in the same location.

Meanwhile, investigators are still searching a rural section of Ronks, Lancaster County, not far from the spot where authorities found articles of clothing buried in a wooded area that law enforcement officials believe belonged to the missing 18-year-old.

Police in Lancaster County are searching for Linda Stoltzfoos, an Amish teenager who went missing after a church service.

People of faith from across this community have since been gathering for prayer vigils in a show of support for the family.

They admit that while the outlook is bleak, they are encouraged that investigators are making progress in this case.

"The community is going to grow stronger through this and even though some people are living in fear right now, it's still bringing everyone together," said neighbor Lee Stoltzfus.

Meanwhile, Allen Miller, a family friend, says, "Certainly light has been shed on this situation but we are going to continue to pray for more, and that we find Linda."

The FBI is also involved in this investigation and is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Linda Stoltzfoos.