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Lancaster man charged with kidnapping in disappearance of Amish teen

Staff report
Justo Smoker

A Lancaster County man was arrested Friday and charged with kidnapping an Amish teenager missing since June 21.

The whereabouts of Linda Stoltzfoos, 18, remain unknown, although investigators “have reason to believe she was harmed following her abduction,” the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office stated in a news release.

East Lampeter Township Police charged Justo Smoker, 34, of the 3200 block of Lincoln Highway East in Paradise, with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment. He was arraigned Saturday morning by District Judge Joshua Keller, who “made Smoker ineligible for bail, citing the nature of the charges and the ongoing investigation,” the DA’s office stated.

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Justo Smoker's Kia Rio.

Investigators on Friday searched a rural area in Ronks, where they believed Stoltzfoos might have been taken after being kidnapped and where Smoker’s vehicle was seen parked on June 23, according to the release. Investigators found clothing believed to belong to Stoltzfoos buried in the wooded area.

Smoker became a person of interest after police received information about a red or orange vehicle seen in the Gap area on the afternoon of the abduction, the DA’s office stated. Witnesses reported seeing an Amish female in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by a male; descriptions of the driver and vehicle are consistent with Smoker and his vehicle.

The search for Stoltzfoos continues.

Linda Stoltzfoos

She disappeared on Sunday, June 21, after a church service.  She was last seen at a farm on Stumptown Road, between the intersection of Beechdale Road and Gibbons Road in Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster County.

Stoltzfoos is approximately 5-feet-10 inches and weighs 125 pounds. She is a member of the Amish community and was last seen wearing a tan dress, white apron, and black head covering, according to a news release.

Investigators are asking anyone who might have seen Smoker or his red Kia Rio sedan —- with a distinct spoiler and “LCM” sticker on the trunk — around the time Stoltzfoos was abducted, and in the days after, to contact police at 717-291-4676.