Man arrested and charged over missing Amish teenage girl who vanished last month – National News
Written by admin on July 12, 2020
By: JON HAWORTH, ABC News
(EAST LAMPETER TOWNSHIP, Penn.) — LAA Pennsylvania man has been charged with the kidnapping of an Amish teenager who has been missing since last month and has yet to be found.
East Lampeter Township Police in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, charged 34-year-old Justo Smoker on Friday with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment while investigators are still actively searching for the whereabouts of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos whom they believe was harmed following her abduction after she was reported missing on June 21.
“Smoker became a person of interest in the kidnapping after police received information about a red/orange vehicle seen in the Gap area on the afternoon of the abduction,” said the East Lampeter Township Police Department in a press release. “Multiple witnesses in the area reported seeing an Amish female in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by a male. Witness descriptions of the driver and vehicle are consistent with Smoker and his vehicle.”
Stoltzfoos was reported missing on the night of June 21 by her father when she did not return from a youth group she was supposed to attend. Investigators have confirmed that she did not ever make it to the social gathering that night.
Authorities have obtained and viewed surveillance footage that shows Stoltzfoos on Beechdale Road near the community of Bird-In-Hand, which would have been her walking route back home after church, as well as a red Kia Rio involved in the abduction that fit the description of Smoker’s vehicle registration and bumper stickers.
According to the East Lampeter Township Police Department, Smoker was arrested on Friday night at the place of his employment and arraigned on Saturday morning on the two charges of felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment.
“District Judge Joshua Keller, at arraignment, made Smoker ineligible for bail, citing the nature of charges and the ongoing investigation,” said the East Lampeter Township Police Department.
Investigators searched a rural location in Ronks, Pennsylvania, on Friday evening which is where they believe Stoltzfoos may have been taken following her abduction and authorities found articles of clothing buried in a wooded area that they believe belong to Stoltzfoos.
“East Lampeter Township police is being assisted by multiple agencies, to include the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police and Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office,” police said.
Authorities are asking for anyone with clues or information to come forward as well as people who might have seen Smoker or his red Kia Rio sedan around the time Stoltzfoos was abducted.
Stoltzfoos weighs approximately 125 pounds and is 5’10” with blue eyes and brown hair, according to the FBI’s missing person report, and was last seen wearing a tan dress, white apron and black head covering.
The FBI is now offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to her recovery.